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Thursday, January 26, 2012

THIS IS NOT A TAX, SAYS BOSTON’S MAYOR


This is not a tax, says Boston’s mayor
Director of Museum of Fine Arts opposes sharp rise in payments to city, others stay tight lipped

By Erica Cooke. Museums, Issue 231, January 2012
Published online: 01 January 2012

Boston. The Museum of Fine Arts was dismayed to learn that the city of Boston is requesting a payment of $250,000 this year under new rules for the amount that not-for-profit organisations have to pay in lieu of taxes. The city plans to quadruple the bill to more than $1m by 2016.

The steep rise in contributions is a result of the Mayor of Boston Thomas Menino’s revised Pay¬ment in Lieu of Taxes scheme, known as Pilot. The art museums, and the city’s other not-for-profit organisations owning property that is worth more than $15m, face paying a fee that is based on 25% of what they would have to pay if they were charged the city’s commercial tax.

Previously, the museum only paid the city $46,000 to $65,000 a year. Meanwhile, the city’s Institute of Contemporary Art is being asked to pay $17,000 this year, a sum that will increase to $86,000 by 2016.

Tax exempt

“For 140 years we’ve been serving the city of Boston and the community of New England at no cost whatever to that community,” says Malcolm Rogers, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts. “We are a huge economic generator for the city and that’s why there should be investment in the arts, not taxation.” He warns that increasing Pilot fees will lead to cuts in activities and jobs at the museum.


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