Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Test Pilot

The new year begins with this back-and-forth between Judith Dobrzynski and Lee Rosenbaum over Boston's newly-revised "payment in lieu of taxes" (PILOT) program.  For background about the program, start with New England School of Law Professor Eric Lustig, here and here.  Inside Higher Ed has a good piece on it here, and sharp criticism from Tim Delaney, President of National Council of Nonprofits, here ("To enforce its legally unenforceable program, Boston has threatened to paint a Scarlet letter of shame on every nonprofit that does not comply with the city's demands for payments. Such coercion to obtain what the Commonwealth's law prohibits is outrageous and threatens everyone; who's next, when Boston -- or any government -- wants something the law prohibits?") and Taylor Armeding here ("These 'requests' are a bit like Don Corleone making someone an offer he can’t refuse. If a standard guilt trip doesn’t work, the university, the medical center, the museum, the charity are told in not-so-veiled terms that if they don’t pay up, good luck the next time they come before a city board seeking a permit.  It is extortion, all prettied up as fairness and good citizenship.").