Should Hunterdon Humane Be Allowed To Keep Its Local Property Tax Exemption?
Jul 18, 2019 —
Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter is currently claiming a tax exemption on its property at 576 Stamets Rd in Alexandria Township, because it was created as a charity. In our opinion, HHAS should pay taxes on their property because it has been closed for 3 years and does not provide any service to animals or the community. This update presents the facts that brought us to our conclusion.
In 2004, HHAS claimed that its mission was to promote the welfare of, and provide shelter for homeless animals at its facilities in Alexandria Township in Hunterdon County. Based on this mission statement, HHAS was granted nonprofit and tax-exemption status from New Jersey and the IRS. However, as of June 1, 2016, the shelter shut down its operations, emptied its shelter of all animals that were housed there, and closed its shelter. For 3 years, the shelter has refused to take animals into its buildings in Alexandria Township which remains empty.
New Jersey law states that real property owned by a charitable organization and used “exclusively for” charitable purposes is entitled to a tax exemption. The HHAS Board must truthfully answer the following question for the Alexandria Tax Assessor: “Are land and/or buildings used for originally stated purposes of claimant organization?” If the answer is ‘No”, then HHAS should be required to pay taxes on the real property at 576 Stamets Rd in Alexandria. Clearly, the shelter buildings are not being used for their originally stated purpose. Given this circumstance, it’s only fair that HHAS be required to pay tax to support the municipality, school system and county government.
We are the Hunterdon County Animal Shelter Committee. We are a permanent grassroots organization committed to taking a citizens’ watchdog role over the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter. Please sign our petition that demands that HHAS become a gold-standard shelter and fulfill its obligations as a nonprofit charity organization. The link to our petition and website is: https://www.hcasc.org/
Our petition has almost 6,400 signatures. We depend on your support.
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