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Hudson Elks lodge exempt from taxes

Nov 15, 2016 12:05 am
Nick Olivari reports in The Daily Mail that the Hudson chapter of the Elks is one of the few in the state to avoid paying property and school taxes. That's $14,000 a year the city, county, and local schools do not receive. “They are IRC 501(c)(8) Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and exempt from income taxes,” said David Carr, a past national president of the Elks and who currently oversees lodges in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island from Crown Point, New York. “They are not exempt from property taxes unless the communities want to exempt them.” Only a handful of Elks lodges in New York state are not taxed. “At one time there were seven but that could have been 10 years ago,” Carr said. The Hudson Elks Lodge 787 did not pay property taxes in 2009 and 2010, when records from the assessor’s office are available, and the lodge applied for an exemption in October 2014 and was listed as exempt in the final assessment rolls for 2015 and 2016, according to public records. In Catskill, Lodge 1341 paid $5,464.31 in property taxes for 2016. Hudson tax assessor Cheryl Kaszluga said she was comfortable granting Lodge 787 an exemption, one of 243 properties that pay no taxes in Hudson. “This is not just the Elks,” she said. “I check all the exemptions in the city of Hudson such as Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief program), age exemptions, disability exemptions and nonprofits.” But the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Assessors Manual says, “This statute allows an exemption solely for the grand lodge of a fraternal organization; local chapters are not entitled to exemption under the provisions of this statute.” The Elks have a national office in Chicago. “If I was incorrect in applying the exemption on any of the nonprofits, I would remove them,” Hudson assessor Kaszluga said. She added that she has, “a problem singling out the Elks club because everyone who walks through that door wants to know about the Elks.” The Elks, though, refused to comment about the Elks. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.
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