Happening in the States
Investing ARPA Funds: Addressing Job Vacancies and Equity
Several states recently announced investments of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in programs that will provide training in fields experiencing shortages, bolster the workforce, and address disparities in the delivery of services. Colorado is investing $26 million of its allocation of federal funds over two years to fill vacancies in the health and hospital systems through its Care Forward Colorado Program. The program will provide tuition-free training for students enrolled to become certified nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, or medical or dental assistants. New York Governor Hochul announced $343 million in federal funds for another round of child care provider stabilization grants. Three-quarters of those funds will be dedicated to supporting the childcare workforce through wage increases, tuition reimbursement, and bonuses. The state will also allocate $4 million in federal funds to support multilingual and underresourced students enrolled in mental health degree programs at state and city universities by providing tuition assistance, paid internships, and stipends to address a lack of diversity in the field. Direct federal support is going to the nonprofit Alaska Primary Care Association, which will receive a $9.7 million ARPA grant from the U.S Department of Commerce to address shortages in health care facilities by introducing high school students to careers in the field, offering trainings and certifications, and expanding an apprenticeship program focused on health care.
Learn more about the role of philanthropy in promoting effective ARPA investments by viewing the recording of a recent Council webinar, ARPA and Philanthropy: Seizing the Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity.
Courts Protect Property Tax Exemptions
State judges are maintaining property tax exemptions for charitable nonprofits and rejecting county assessor objections. Minnesota’s high court reversed a tax court ruling that claimed a nonprofit childcare center, which was licensed by the state, did not meet the exemption requirement of providing comprehensive educational services. The tax assessor claimed that the nonprofit childcare center did not have supporting testimony from the public school district that it met a higher standard for property tax exemption required by the state and “reduced the burden on public schools.” The state supreme court determined that the childcare center had “presented uncontroverted evidence” that it “has an educational purpose, provides a broad general education, and does so in a thorough and comprehensive manner.”
A judge in New Jersey rejected a challenge from municipalities and determined that property tax exemption for certain nonprofit hospitals, including those that lease parts of their facilities to for-profit entities, is constitutional. The municipalities were challenging a law passed last year that reinstated property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals, applied and increased a community service contribution rate, clarified that any portion of the property leased to a profit-making organization is not exempt from property taxes, and prevented third parties from challenging a nonprofit’s property tax exemption. The law was a result of years-long legal battles between the municipalities and local hospitals over property tax exemptions and the imposition of fees on nonprofit hospitals under the state constitution.