Nobody could be reached from Merrimack College or Mass. School of Law.
Andover is not alone in seeking payments in lieu of taxes from nonprofits, particularly schools.
Many communities are seeking contributions from large nonprofits as municipal budgets are squeezed.
Salem, for example, negotiated payments from Peabody Essex Museum, Salem State University and Northeast Animal Shelter when those nonprofits purchased formerly commercial properties that would have been lost to the tax rolls.
In Danvers, selectmen are considering charging St. John’s Prep a payment in lieu of taxes, noting that the school is a large landholder.
Danvers already has PILOT agreements with the owners of two large medical facilities. Partners Healthcare, which owns the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care on Endicott Street, paid the town $93,249 last fiscal year. And Northeast Hospital Corp. paid Danvers $37,324 for its Lahey Outpatient Center on Maple Street.
Communities like Boston, Cambridge and Brookline have PILOT policies with formulas to figure out what a nonprofit entity should contribute based on its demand for services. In most cases, it works out to be 25 cents on the dollar, although such agreements are strictly voluntary.
In fact, Boston brings in about $66 million in payments from nonprofits, including private universities. Cambridge brings in $5.3 million.
Under a new policy approved recently by the Board of Selectmen, private, nonprofit schools with property values of more than $4 million would be charged a fee based on 25 percent of what their tax bills would be if they were for-profit entities.
The payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, would be negotiated between the town and the individual school, with the amount dropping based on quantifiable services the educational institution provides the community.
Assessed value: $193,752,100
Taxes at full value: $2.8 million
Proposed payment: $702,000
Assessed value: $28,726,300
Taxes at full value: $416,819
Proposed payment: $104,204
Assessed value: $10,695,700
Taxes at full value: $155,195
Proposed payment: $38,798
MASS. SCHOOL OF LAW
Assessed value: $7,559,000
Taxes at full value: $109,681
Proposed payment: $27,420
Assessed value: $4,517,800
Taxes at full value: $65,553
Proposed payment: $16,388