Should Charities Pay For The Police Services They Receive?

Municipalities around the country are struggling with declining revenues and a public that is resistant to any tax increases. In addition to cutting spending and eliminating jobs, local governments are seeking new revenue streams.

Amherst (suburb of Buffalo) Town Supervisor Barry Weinstein is seeking to have organizations that sponsor public charity events reimburse the town for the cost of police services.

As reported in the Buffalo News the idea to charge charities for police services would:

“…affect more than a dozen races and events, ranging from the Race to Cure Childhood Cancer 5K, which police say costs about $2,520 in wages and overtime, to the Ride for Roswell, which police say costs the town about $9,732. It would also affect several 5K races organized by local Catholic churches and numerous other walks and races organized to benefit everything from programs for those with disabilities to disease research. The costs currently are borne by town taxpayers.”

The Ride for Roswell, draws more than 10,000 riders in support of cancer research. A spokeswoman for the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation said the event could absorb the cost of town reimbursement – $9,732 – but the money would be taken out of funds that would otherwise be raised for cancer research and patient care.

If the Town was reimbursed by charities for police services it is estimated that $54,165 in revenue would be received.

Should charity organizations that are usually exempt from property and sales taxes be required to pay for the police services required for their events?

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