State law helps non-profits maintain tax exempt status

Legislation aiding operation and maintenance of Young Life of Federal Way was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire on March 23. - Courtesy photo
Legislation aiding operation and maintenance of Young Life of Federal Way was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire on March 23.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Young Life of Federal Way has been given a new lease on life, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Tracey Eide (D-District 30).

Young Life ran into a rough spot in 2010, when it was determined by the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) that the non-profit organization had to pay property taxes. According to Eide's office, Young Life is a non-profit organization, which includes many tax exemptions. The LLC that oversees Young Life's property is a for-profit company, which allowed the DOR to rule that property taxes needed to be paid for Young Life of Federal Way's home base.

Senate Bill 6600 closes that blind spot. The bill will allow non-profits to maintain their tax exempt status, even if the property controlling entity is a for-profit company.

"Reputable, character building organizations like Young Life of Federal Way ought to be commended, not taxed out of existence," Eide said in a news release. "While this legislation is very technical and difficult to piece together, its effect is easy to see. With this bill signed into law, it'll be easier for youth character building organizations here at home and across the state to continue their laudable work shaping kids into responsible young adults and ultimately productive citizens."

The bill passed with wide bipartisan majorities in both chambers on March 23, and takes effect 90 days after that.

Trent Erickson, a former member of the Young Life Federal Way Committee and current elder at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church, said this bill will keep an important asset alive in the community.

"Non-profits like Young Life have faced increased demand and constrained financial resources during the Great Recession and throughout our state's economic recovery. This legislation is critical for Young Life to continue its good work in our community and across the state," he said.





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