The Jefferson Educational society is hoping to work out a tax payment deal after learning that it won't be exempt from property tax.
Last summer the organization purchased the former B'rith Shalom temple building on State Street. When tax exempt property changes hands, the Erie County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals must review the case and make a determination on real estate tax status.
The board determined that the property should not be tax exempt. Jefferson officials are disappointed. Vice President Ferki Ferati said, "It came to us as a little shock, and it's disappointing but we are meeting with the taxing bodies to see what it is we can do to work things out."
Ferati said the Jefferson Society made a good case for its tax exemption. He believes if properties such as the art museum, playhouse and other educational facilities are property tax exempt, they should be too. He cited the Perry 200 celebration and other historical and educational programs taken into schools. He also noted that a large percent of the Jefferson's programming is free to the public.
The organization is looking at possible payment in lieu of tax agreements with the local taxing bodies. If agreements can't be reached they will appeal the decision to Erie County Court.