Pittsburgh creates state-ordered task force to study nonprofit gifts to government

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The city of Pittsburgh has convened a task force to examine how tax-exempt nonprofits should contribute to the city's coffers with the goal of developing a formula for so-called payments in lieu of taxes.

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, a state overseer created after the city was designated financially distressed, required the city to organize the task force and produce a report as a condition of signing off on this year's budget in October.

The task force is to examine how other cities handle nonprofit contributions and make recommendations regarding the "level, length and form of support from the nonprofit sector to the city of Pittsburgh," Dana Yealy, authority chairman, said in a letter to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

The report is due in June.

Payments to the city by tax-exempt nonprofits are voluntary. One source is the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund, a consortium of nonprofits that will give about $2.6 million to the city this year.

While its members are identified, the amount they give is not.

The task force is chaired by Don Smith, president of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania. It includes some members of council and representatives from some of the region's largest nonprofits, including healthcare giants UPMC and Highmark.

Representatives from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University also sit on the task force.

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Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 and on Twitter: @MoriahBee.


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