Three Loudoun nonprofits have been awarded new local property tax-exemptions.
Before Thursday’s Board of Supervisors’ vote, 31 organizations had been granted local property tax exemptions, totaling $4.7 million in 2015.
Added to that list following a Nov. 12 public hearing were Oatlands Inc., the Mobile Hope Association and the Faith and Family Foundation. Together, the three paid $31,593 in taxes during 2015.
Oatlands was granted a real estate and personal property exemption because of its status as an historic site. In tax year 2015, Oatlands was assessed $12,964 in real estate taxes and $203 in personal property taxes.
Mobile Hope provides services including food, clothing, school supplies and medical care to homeless and at-risk youth in Loudoun. The nonprofit only requested a personal property exemption; it paid $788.55 in tax year 2015.
The Faith and Family Foundation was founded in 1999 by Mark Forrest, an internationally known Irish tenor, and his wife, Muriel, to support children with special needs and their families. The organization has expanded at Wheatland Farm, where it operates therapeutic riding and educational programs and other services including adaptive equipment loans and repair and a hair salon. Supervisors granted a real estate exemption for the organization, which was assessed $17,636 in real estate taxes in 2015.
Two board members opposed the exemptions.
Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) said he opposed any additional local tax exemptions. Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) also voted against the motion, but he directed his criticism at the exemption granted to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute several years ago. HHMI holds the largest exemption, valued at $2.8 million in 2015.
However, Board Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) defended the HHMI and the other exemptions. HHMI, he pointed out, donates $1 million to Loudoun schools each year and last month contributed $5 million to the construction of the Rt. 7/Ashburn Village Boulevard interchange.
Allowing an additional $31,000 in tax exemptions would have little impact on the county’s $1.98 billion budget, he said. “It’s not going to break the bank. These organizations provide a very direct and significant benefit for Loudoun citizens.”