An “unintentional authoritative oversight” has led to a huge tax bill for a Watertown academy that has served the families of dark and deafened accouchement for over a century, and accusations that the boondocks is strong-arming a accommodating institution.
Missed the deadline
By March 1 anniversary year, non-profit organizations are appropriate to book a anatomy with the boondocks of Watertown in adjustment to bottle their absolution from acreage tax. The Perkins Academy for the Blind, amid in Watertown back 1912, did not book by the town’s borderline and as a result, they were abreast aftermost June by the Board of Assessors they would owe $1.4 actor in property tax for budgetary year 2020.
In response, Perkins beatific a letter to the boondocks on July 16, 2019 requesting an addendum of the filing borderline for FY20 due to an “unintentional authoritative blank constant from agents turnover.”
On Sept. 18, 2019, Earl Smith, administrator of Watertown’s Board of Assessors and the town’s appropriate admonition met with alfresco counsel for Perkins in an attack to appear to an agreement. Watertown offered to seek ascendancy from the Legislature to absolved the acreage for budgetary year 2020 as allotment of an all-embracing altercation that would accommodate the accomplishing of a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) acceding amid Perkins and the town. The boondocks did not acquire any academic acknowledgment from Perkins afterwards the September meeting.
On Nov. 27, 2019, the assessors forwarded a proposed PILOT to Perkins calling for an antecedent acquittal of $240,000 with an anniversary access of 2.5 percent for a 20-year appellation which adds up to $6.3 million.
“The proposed PILOT acceding is so airedale economically, no rational being would booty it,” said Dave Power, admiral and CEO of Perkins.
According to Power, Watertown does not acquire a PILOT acceding with any other charitable alignment or academy like Perkins. Two organizations which do acquire PILOT agreements are Mount Auburn Cemetery and Tufts Health Plan.
According to Boondocks Manager Michael Driscoll, in his animadversion at the Jan. 14 Boondocks Council meeting, Perkins has not responded to the November letter.
Penalty too severe?
The borderline for Perkins to pay its acreage tax is Jan. 31, 2020. In an account with the Watertown Tab, Power said he believes the affair is one of fairness legality. He said the amends for their backward filing is severe.
“To the Perkins community, it seems a asymmetric acknowledgment for an authoritative error. Someone forgot to do a filing. The aftereffect of that is a $1.4 actor penalty,” he said. “The boondocks doesn’t acquire to allegation us that penalty. They acquire the adeptness to acquire a backward filing.”
Power said Perkins requested accessible advice on Nov. 7 regarding the absolved filings of added non-profit organizations over the aftermost bristles years. In a letter to the Watertown Boondocks Council anachronous Jan. 11, 2020, Power writes, “We were anxious that the boondocks may not be applying a constant action in its acrid analysis of Perkins. We acquire yet to acquire this information.”
Power said Perkins has been acceptable neighbors for 108 years. “We absence the filing and get hit with the best penalty,” he said.
Power said he has a affair with Watertown’s adjudicator on Jan. 22 to analyze remedies. To date, Perkins has paid aloof beneath $700,000 of the tax bill, bisected of the $1.4 actor total.
Town Councilor Tony Palumba said the Council’s hands are tied. The town’s advocate has disqualified that Boondocks Council cannot arbitrate on the accommodation of the Board of Assessors.
“I accept that the Board of Assessors should abolish the tax bill by the Jan. 31 borderline and, already this is done, the boondocks and Perkins should activate negotiating a PILOT that is in band with agnate PILOT arrange with added nonprofits and considers the abounding contributions Perkins has fabricated and continues to accomplish to the association of Watertown,” he said.
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