Thomas Jefferson Gardens asks for tax abatement

Another Jefferson property will go off the property tax rolls when the county board of supervisors takes action on a request from the Thomas Jefferson Gardens board for an abatement of property taxes on the Gardens, located catty-corner southeast of the courthouse.

TJG board member John Turpin made the request. TJG has IRS 501(c)3 status and is eligible for the abatement. TJG took possession of the property March 13, 2014, Turpin said.

The amount to be abated for 2014 is $1,206 for the second half of 2014. TJG will again need to request an abatement for 2015 taxes in the full amount of $2,412.

Turpin explained that the original plan had been to rent the building, but with the Greene County Chamber’s interest in using it for a Welcome Center and public restrooms, the TJG board purchased the building with the intention of renting it to the Chamber. That project has been slowed, Turpin said.

Supervisor Mick Burkett asked why the work on the building hasn’t been finished as planned. “The Chamber and city have different ideas on it,” supervisor Guy Richardson answered.

Chair John Muir asked about the future use of the building. Turpin said the Chamber plans to go forward with getting public restrooms there. “There are no public restrooms in Jefferson on weekends. The only public restrooms available are the courthouse. If we get a tour bus in on a Saturday or Sunday and there are 30 or 40 people who need a restroom, where are they going to go,” Turpin said.

“It would be a benefit to us to not have to worry about having our restrooms open,” Richardson said.

Sierra Community Theatre went through the same process in taking that building off the tax rolls.

The supervisors will act on Turpin’s request at their June 1 meeting.


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