City Paper is not for tourists
On Tuesday, the struggling nonprofit Positive Nature has received some possible help from Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. He introduced the “Positive Nature Property Tax Exemption Forgiveness Act.”
According to the press release, the bill would:
Provide property tax relief to a unique, high-quality after school program that is threatened with closing due to skyrocketing real estate taxes around its location near the Nationals stadium. The bill was co-introduced by Councilmember Tommy Wells of Ward 6, where Positive Nature is located. Gray said Positive Nature is a non-profit organization that has operated a valuable, therapeutic after school program for D.C. youth with behavioral problems, not just in Ward 6, but from across the city for several years.
We had heard from several sources that the D.C. Council was inclined to not introduce any legislation to assist the nonprofit with its huge property tax bill (caused by Nationals Park). We wrote about Positive Nature here and followed-up with items here and here and here, among other items. The nonprofit held a rally and even resorted to asking for money outside the stadium. It wasn’t pretty.
So it was a huge shock—-especially to Positive Nature. The news of the legislation came from this reporter’s blog. But who knows if this legislation will ever come up for a vote.
The Gray press release goes on to state:
“Gray’s tax relief legislation is designed to keep the program from having to shut down while a long-term solution, including relocation to more affordable facilities, is found. Wells and Councilmember David Catania, who chairs the Committee on Health, have been working with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to identify District-owned or other space for relocation. Gray said, ‘The Council must step in to ensure these much-needed services for some of the District’s most vulnerable children remain available until a permanent solution is found.'”