Scituate selectmen consider taxing church's closed property
By Jillian Fennimore/ Scituate Mariner |
Friday, July 15, 2005
With Saint Frances X. Cabrini Church shuttered by the Archdiocese of Boston nine months ago, the Scituate selectmen are exploring a ``creative'' proposal to start taxing the property.
``It's not private property anymore. The tax exemption becomes void,'' Selectman Joseph Norton said about the nonoperating church, which remains occupied by parishioners staging a vigil.
Selectman Chairman Jim Pollard called it ``creative'' and ``a great idea'' worth of looking into.
``It is an extremely valuable piece of property. We are talking millions of dollars here,'' Norton said.
Assessor Steve Jarzembowski said the 25-acre parcel and the church building is assessed at more than $4 million, which would equal a tax bill of $40,000 a year.
Jarzembowski said the matter will be brought up at the next assessors meeting, and the legality will be discussed with town counsel.
Norton, a 30-year St. Francis parishioner, is also looking into taking the property by eminent domain to prevent it from being privately developed.
Archdiocese spokesman Terrence C. Donilon said ``we wouldn't agree with'' the idea of taxation.
``It's still church property,'' he said.