The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 11, 2013

Police lodge wins tax-exemption appeal

EBENSBURG — A Fraternal Order of Police lodge has regained its tax-exempt status from the Cambria County Board of Assessment Appeals.

FOP Flood City Lodge 86 owns a remote and hilly piece of property in Lower Yoder Township where more than 150 law enforcement officers from 16 agencies in Cambria and Somerset counties train.

When the organization bought the land a few years ago, members assumed their tax-exempt designation from when the lodge was at other locations would remain intact.

However, the status was attached to the properties, not the organization.

The Flood City lodge then requested tax exemption from Cambria County, Greater Johnstown School District and Lower Yoder in 2011. The township objected at the time.

The request was rejected without a reason being given.

On Friday, the lodge gained tax-exempt status during an appeals hearing before Judge Patrick Kiniry.

“It’s very important for the FOP,” said Dennis McGlynn, the attorney for the local lodge.

“They are a charity, and the taxes of $2,400 or $2,500 a year is a lot of money to an institution like that,” McGlynn said. “Their funds come from dues and fundraisers. It really will help them financially.”

The lodge, assessment agency and three taxing bodies had reached an agreement before the hearing.

“Once presented with all of the facts, everyone agreed that they are tax-exempt,” McGlynn said.

Law enforcement officers use the facility for training in areas such as firearm qualification, Special Emergency Response Team exercises and K-9 classes.

The property’s secluded nature does not provide for public access. No social functions are held there. Any money raised through fees and/or fund drives supports the lodge.

“When we got the discovery (exchange of information between the parties), that was when we were able to make that determination,” assessment board solicitor Thomas Swope said.

“We weren’t sure what they were using the property for,” Swope said. “But once we were able to make that determination, it was clear they’re not there generating funds. Any money that they do generate goes back into the organization to help train the local police, which, in turn, alleviates the need for each local police department to provide their own training.”

All of the local FOP’s properties had been tax-exempt.

“There’s a history there or a precedent there,” Swope said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014

  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads