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Dubious Taxation of Non-Profit Organizations

I am alarmed over the excessive and needless actions of the county assessor in conceiving a new tax that applies to organizations that provide invaluable services in Ventura County.

To add insult to injury, the assessor is not only demanding a new tax on their property, but further demanding back taxes and penalties. As reported, the organizations are four affordable-housing projects.

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It doesn't stop there. Following the assessors logic, every nonprofit that owns property in the county may be subject to the same back-taxes and penalties. This includes our many faith-based organizations, groups that provide hospice and health care services, senior housing projects, organizations that provide for the economically disadvantaged, cultural and heritage centers and private educational institutions.

The Legislature is considering action to neutralize the assessors madness. Previously the State Board of Equalization weighed in, stating that there is no mandate in law that requires that the assessor collect property tax under the circumstances being used to levy these taxes.

County Assessor Dan Goodwin chose to ignore the BOE opinion and continued in his quest. It was only after the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library claimed a federal exemption that Mr. Goodwin backed down.

One wonders what might be Goodwin's motivation. Is this an effort to raise more tax revenues to have a bigger county government? Is our county in such dire straits financially that we must find new revenue sources? Is there some personal or political motivation at work here in the selective targeting of these organizations? It is this that gives me the greatest concern.

Board members of all nonprofits in Ventura County are advised to be on the alert to the actions of this Assessor.

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Posted in Law Post Date 10/19/2017






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