Sunday, April 13, 2008

SUNDAY NEWS'S April 13 headline: "College: F&M gives 45 percent; mayor seeks 33% of non-profits"

WATCHDOG: Associate Editor Gil Smart got the story right, but the headline was incorrect. Per the actual article: "College property that is exempt is assessed at $52.7 million; if F&M had to pay taxes on it, they would cost $483,6000 ... Gray wanted one-third of that, or $161,200 – but agreed that the $44,655 F&M will pay to maintain Buchanan Park this year should be part of the figure. That left $116,545, the amount the college will contribute."

Thus F&M "gives" 33%, not 45%, in lieu of paying taxes on tax exempt property.

Congratulation to columnist Art Morris for stirring the discussion, to Mayor Rick Gray for "jaw boning" the issue, and to John Fry and F&M for upping their contribution to the 1/3rd level.