While the public angst over the local tax status of a number of non-profit entities in the county has been well documented, the resulting appeals before the Warren County Assessment Board of Appeals has been enlightening.
And, while much of the anger from those who question the procedure's necessity has been directed at the Assessment Board and county government in general, it should be remembered that the examination has come about as the result of changes in state regulations coupled with the fact that over the years businesses and non-profits sometimes adjust their operations, while keeping their focus and goal the same.
In some cases, it could turn out that the board decides the great majority of the operations and facilities of an individual non-profit fit the standard of the Hospital Utilization Project (HUP) to retain their tax-exempt status; other parts may not.
In fact, during the first day of hearings, a representative of the Crary Home acknowledged that one of the various properties that the home operates would appropriately be taxed.
In essence, the County Assessment Board wants to ensure that anything that would appropriately be taxed be on the tax roles, while those properties which continue to meet the requirement for tax-exemption remain exempt.
There doesn't seem to be any evidence that the on-going review is the result of some brainstorm in the county commissioners' office to boost revenues at the expense of entities whose charitable work not only serves the general welfare of the county's residents but saves the county government money which would have been spent on those services.
The process should be recognized for what it is: due dilligence.