Westmoreland commissioners reach tax deal with children's charity
Westmoreland County commissioners are set to vote on a settlement on Thursday that would permit a Unity charity to pay a percentage of real estate taxes.
American Association of Lost Children President Mark Miller said the settlement reached by the parties calls for him to pay 10 percent — about $150 annually.
“I'm thankful that we had come to some kind of compromise agreement,” Miller said Tuesday.
The nonprofit that helps families find lost children has been asking the courts for years to be exempted from having to pay property taxes. Miller said funds must be raised for the association to be able to pay its taxes, so the reduction will be helpful.
Chairman Charles Anderson said the county has not altered its position, which challenged the organization's contention that it used the property for charitable purposes.
The settlement has met the approval of the Greater Latrobe School District and Unity.
Anderson said the county generally follows a policy of endorsing reduced tax payments that are already approved by the home municipality and school district. “As long as they agree it is our policy to do that, we go along with it,” Anderson said.
A property tax appeal filed in February 2008 by the nonprofit was denied by a Westmoreland County judge who ruled that the organization failed to meet guidelines for taxes to be waived.
The judge said that the agency did not show during a September 2008 hearing that it saved government agencies money, a requirement of exemption.
In January 2010, the association again appealed its property tax assessment. A verbal agreement apparently was reached during an evidentiary hearing July 25, 2011, Judge Anthony Marsili noted in a January 2013 order.
The order scheduled a status conference for March 21 because a written settlement had not been filed.
Greater Latrobe School District directors have approved the agreement, Solicitor Ned Nakles said.
“We all thought it was a fair outcome for all the parties,” he said.
Unity Solicitor Gary Falatovich did not return a phone call seeking comment.
American Association for Lost Children works to locate and find children who are abducted.
Miller moved operations in 2003 from Texas and was granted a waiver for the state sales tax in 2007 from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
Since the association was founded in 1987 by Miller, more than 145 rescues have been conducted in the United States and abroad.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
- Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Youngwood discuss sewage system sale
- Youngwood officials defend rules for rentals
- Westmoreland County Judge Regoli has 5 days to decide on whether he’ll ask for recount
- Westmoreland County, Mt. Pleasant Borough officials try to solve Willow parking issue
- Sounds of Christmas coming to Fay-West region
- Greater Latrobe board votes to buy athletic field, plans to build elementary school there
- Hempfield property tax addition pushed as township’s fire departments struggle
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama