|Community Land Trusts||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Tom Hammer (thammer302yahoo.com)|
|Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 21:44:22 -0700 (MST)|
I searched this list's archives on this subject and didn't find anything more recent than 1996 or so. One of our local members just sent us the note which follows. Is his information correct? Do any other cohousing communities use this model? What are the primary advantages/disadvantages? If other groups have chosen not do use a CLT model, why not? Did I ask enough questions? Thanks, Tom Hammer for Concord Village re: nonprofit structuring: Structuring decisions can greatly influence things down the road, I think. For example, a community doesn't have to be a single-tax village like the Ardens to have its land held in a non-profit community land trust (CLT). If the CLT is tax-exempt, this might drastically reduce the tax burden faced by individual members, since the value of the land (and other CLT assets, which might include the community center) might not be subject to various taxes (e.g. property tax). This might be especially true in a place like PA, where large community expenses like schools enjoy relatively low state support (compared with Delaware, for example). In many CLTs, the residents maintain fee-simple ownership of their houses and other land improvements while the CLT holds the land; their houses sit on a 99-year inheritable leasehold. The premiere source in the US for CLT info (and below-market-rate financing for startups) is of course the Institute for Community Economics in New England (Springfield, MA, I think -- I'm sure they have a website, which maybe you've discovered)? For some years I was a depositor in their revolving loan fund, which now holds and manages several hundred million dollars, I think. A signal advantage to CLTs is that they can boost affordability. With a reduced tax burden, lower interest rates, and especially since only the improvements change hands (you are buying the building, not the relatively expensive land under it), purchase prices and operating costs can drop dramatically over the lifetime of the CLT. Many CLTs in the past have had to choose to make voluntary donations to local governments since their land, like that of hospitals and other public/nonprofit institutions, is not conventionally part of the tax base! One lesser-known issue affecting any preservationist, democratically-controlled property holding (including CLTs) is that over time, surrounding development may raise the value of neighborhood property so much that initiatives may arise within the group to sell the land for development and relocate elsewhere. This isn't necessarily an unhealthy thing, but it certainly can change the aspects of "permanence" and "sustainability". In such a situation, it may also be appropriate to sell or donate development rights (for the open space at least) to a local conservation trust; and this can in turn help reduce whatever assessable value the property(ies) face for tax purposes. It's worth ascending my soapbox one more time to underscore how important it is for the group to surface and solidify its core values bearing on these points. I think that once a structure is chosen, a group is pretty much confined to its parameters unless you want to undertake the much harder (and more limited as to options) task of restructuring further down the road. Pardon me for spouting off about this if you've heard it all already. Cheers -- Dave Nuttall __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now http://companion.yahoo.com/ _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L
- Re: Community Land Trusts REUER,JOHN PHILLIP,MR, June 9 1995
- Re: Community Land Trusts Fred H Olson, December 16 2003
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