Gloucester Legionnaires concerned over loss of tax-exempt status

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Feb 22, 2012 - 03:36 PM

Photo: American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester has lost its tax-exempt status and faces possibly having to pay thousands of dollars’ worth of taxes if the situation cannot be rectified, members said Tuesday. Shown outside the post building on Route 17, White Marsh, are, from left, members Rob Thein, Ken Godfrey and Bill Kossler. Photo by Bill Nachman.

American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester has lost its tax-exempt status and faces possibly having to pay thousands of dollars’ worth of taxes if the situation cannot be rectified, members said Tuesday. Shown outside the post building on Route 17, White Marsh, are, from left, members Rob Thein, Ken Godfrey and Bill Kossler. Photo by Bill Nachman.

American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester has been a recognized non-profit organization in the community for more than 60 years. Now, the group’s tax-exempt status is in question, members said Tuesday, and they may have to pay thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Bill Kossler, adjutant (secretary) for the post, said that apparently the tax-exempt status fell into question with the Internal Revenue Service more than two years ago. Then, the IRS notified the post that the tax-exempt number it provided on a form to the IRS did not match the number the IRS had on file for the group.

Later, the IRS said that since the local post had not filed a special tax-exempt form for three straight years, it would stand to lose its tax-exempt status, which it did last spring. The post and IRS have had a running series of correspondence on this matter since.

Since Gloucester County has notified the post it owes back taxes because of the loss of its tax-exempt status, Kossler said, the post found itself staring at several thousand dollars’ worth of tax bills without the revenue to pay them. So the post is in the midst of cutting timber to sell from approximately 30 of its almost 37½ acre site, located on Route 17 at White Marsh, across from the Gloucester Business Park.