Governor Ron DeSantis signed comprehensive tax legislation on Friday that protects nonprofit organizations such as the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota that are involved in a tax dispute from losing their full tax-exempt status in such scenarios.
State Senator Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, tabled the bill to protect Selby’s tax exemption. The language from this Senate bill was incorporated into DeSantis signed legislation (HB 7061).
The Sarasota County real estate appraiser objected to Selby’s nonprofit tax exemption and caused Gruters to weigh up.
Previous reporting:The special judge recommends Sarasota’s Selby Gardens to maintain the property tax exemption
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The Property Appraiser’s Office had focused on a company agreement between Selby and Michael’s On East, a not for profit, to manage the catering services in the gardens.
Legislation filed by Gruters and included in HB 7061 states that the tax exemption of a non-profit organization “is not affected as long as the predominant use of the property is for charitable, religious, scientific or literary purposes”.
Non-profit organizations could still not claim an exemption for “parts of property that are not predominantly used for charitable, religious, scientific or literary purposes” under the legislation submitted by Gruters and included in HB 7061, but would not have their entire exemption tax exemption threatened because of such uses.
“An exemption for parts of the property that is used for charitable, religious, scientific or literary purposes remains unaffected as long as the predominant use of this property is for charitable, religious, scientific or literary purposes,” states the bill.
Selby President and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki praised the legislation on Friday.
“This legislation reaffirms that the use of accessories does not jeopardize the property tax exemption of other nonprofits, and the fact that it was passed unanimously by the committee with such broad support from both parties confirms what we do Time said, “said Rominiecki. If you put income back into your mission and your community, your property should remain tax-free. “
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