Local Boy Scouts of America and Girls Scouts troops in Virginia may get some tax relief — if a local lawmakers succeeds in modifying the state constitution.
Inspired by the testimony of one Arlington Boy Scout, Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) has introduced legislation that would exempt property owned and used by the organization “solely for the purpose of supporting” troops from personal property taxes.
The organizations would join other nonprofits that also enjoy this status, including museums, churches, the YMCA and similar religious groups.
Last September, Boy Scout Troop 167 member Griffin Crouch told the Arlington County Board that his troop was saddled with $3,000 in personal property taxes on its vans.
He asked them to see if there was a way to get the troop out of this obligation, as it eats up a chunk of the $21,000 budget.
Hope says he read ARLnow’s coverage and decided to try and help.
“I know many Scout troops rely on vehicles for camping trips and backpacking adventures across the state and the country,” Hope said. “Many troops, however, cannot afford other means of transportation to these excursions and owning your own van(s) is an economical way to afford these life-changing experiences.”
Up until last year, Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road), near Ballston, officially sponsored Troop 167.
But last summer, the United Methodist Church, the largest supporter of scouting troops, told local churches to stop officially sponsoring local troops. Troops can still use their facilities, however.
Troop 167 decided to incorporate a nonprofit to sponsor the troop, but getting 501(c)(3) status and federal tax-exempt status did not protect it from state tax code or Arlington’s personal property tax.
So far, Hope says he’s only aware of Troop 167 facing this dilemma but he filed the resolution expecting other troops will also lose their sponsorship and face similar circumstances.
“More and more troops are going to lose their once enjoyed tax-exempt status and, while localities have the statutory authority to grant narrow exceptions to non-profits, there will be many that will refuse to open that door and, therefore, a state solution through amending the Virginia Constitution is the only available remedy,” he said.
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Too many of us in our community have experienced wrenching loss lately. It can be particularly tricky to navigate as Spring arrives. While it may feel like the very last thing you are able to do, we urge you to consider a local support group and we have a list of a few that our clients have found to be welcoming and healing. This is by no means a complete list, but from Capital Caring to Haven of Northern Virginia to the Wendt Center to the Dinner Party you will find people who get what you are going through.
Art House 7 is thrilled to announce that the award-winning artist, Teresa Oaxaca, will be returning this Spring to host some amazing weekend workshops! We invite you to join us for two fantastic opportunities to learn from this popular master artist.
Our first workshop, “Drawing the Portrait in Charcoal,” will take place on March 11 and 12. During the class, Teresa will guide students through her approach to drawing the human portrait in charcoal while helping them create their own charcoal portraits of models.
Our second workshop, “Painting the Dutch Tulip from Life,” will be held on April 22 and 23. This two-day class will feature a live demonstration by Teresa as she selects, composes, and paints a beautiful flower. As she works, she will narrate the steps and process, allowing students to follow along and learn the art techniques to create their own stunning paintings of the provided selection of fresh tulips.
Please note that both classes require supplies, which can be found on the workshop registration listings here. If you need art materials, we’ve got you covered at the Art House 7 Store. We sell a broad range of art supplies for all mediums at competitive prices, so you can get everything you need in one convenient location.
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