April 23, 2010; Vineyard Online Gazette | You have to watch really closely for indications of municipalities of all shapes and sizes pondering tapping so-called “large” nonprofits to fill budget gaps. At the Oak Bluffs town meeting on Martha’s Vineyard, a mostly upper end resort island known for hosting presidents and other luminaries, the chair of the townships’ finance committee said she “would like to see the town explore a payment in lieu of taxes program for large nonprofit institutions located in town such as the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.” Beneath the hospital, there isn’t much in the way of sizable grants. To us, the importance of the story is that it isn’t just governments of big cities going after nonprofits. It seems to us that the big city PILOT debates in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere are test runs for this strategy to spread into smaller townships like Oak Bluffs.—Rick Cohen
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