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Boston Seeks New System For Additional Tax-Exempt Payments

A task force is set to roll out a plan that aims to bring Boston more money from tax-exempt institutions like hospitals and colleges.

Appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) task force is expected on Wednesday to recommend that tax-exempt organizations pay the city 25 percent of the tax bill they would receive if the properties were not exempt. The proposal could boost city revenues by $24 million per year.

The city has long collected payments in lieu of taxes from these institutions to over the cost of municipal services like police and fire coverage. But under the current system, some institutions pay millions annually, while some pay nothing.

Some colleges have raised concerns that the task force's plan could lead to layoffs, tuition hikes and reduced scholarships.

But Menino says he's open to finding diverse ways for institutions to contribute to the city. Up to 50 percent of the payment could be provided through institutional services, Menino says, as opposed to cash.

"It's not about a slash and burn with the non-profits," Menino said. "It's about working with them to get more resources into the city coffers, but also more scholarships."

This program aired on April 6, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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