Pilgrim Pines Begins Tax Debt Fund Drive

Post a Comment » Written on December 18th, 2002     
Filed under: News
CROMWELL, CT (December 18, 2002) – Pilgrim Pines Conference Center and the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church are continuing efforts to negotiate with the Town of Swanzey, New Hampshire, while also beginning a matching fund drive to offset some of the debt from previous years.

The East Coast Conference executive board recently approved a matching grant up to $25,000 – to be drawn from reserve funds – aimed at doubling any contributions from churches directed to its ongoing tax debt relief. The dollar-for-dollar match (in the form of loan reduction) is effective until June 1, 2003, stated conference Supt. Robert C. Dvorak in a letter to East Coast Conference churches. It is hoped that contributions will come from conference churches “over and above regular giving to Pilgrim Pines.”

Pilgrim Pines is a year-round camp and conference center sponsored by the East Coast Conference. The Town of Swanzey has prevailed in recent court cases that require Pilgrim Pines to pay property tax payments with interest totaling $359,760 covering the period from 1996-99. The town began to tax property and buildings at Pilgrim Pines in November 1996. The town had not taxed the site since it was opened in 1957.

Property taxes for 2000-01 totaling $155,000 have also been paid to the town, although litigation seeking abatement from those charges is still in the Cheshire County Superior Court pending a court date. Pilgrim Pines is paying $86,786 for 2002, a 13 percent rate increase from a year ago.

More than $240,000 has been given to help Pilgrim Pines, said Pilgrim Pines Executive Director Bob DeJong. The East Coast Conference has also provided a $50,000 grant to Pilgrim Pines, which takes the form of a reduction of a loan from the conference.

For more information about Pilgrim Pines, call DeJong at 603-352-0443 or the East Coast Conference at 860-635-2691. DeJong asks for prayer that the previous decision against Pilgrim Pines be overturned in an upcoming court case. A fall update of the tax case is on the Pilgrim Pines web page at www.pilgrimpines.org/courtupdate.htm.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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