Tax woes continue for American Legion post

Bill Nachman - Posted on Mar 21, 2012 - 04:37 PM

American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester still contends it should have tax-exempt status even though it paid a Gloucester County tax bill for more than $1,800 last week. Lack of funds has forced the group to put on hold, at least temporarily, sponsorship of two baseball teams and selecting representatives for Boys and Girls State.

The Internal Revenue Service has questioned the local group’s tax-exempt status, not that of the parent organization, said commander Robert Berry.

Post adjutant Bill Kossler 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. Kossler said he and, more recently, an accountant have been corresponding with the IRS trying to straighten out the group’s tax status.

In the meantime, the post building on Route 17, White Marsh, is in need of a new roof and a new handicapped ramp, said vice commander Rob Thein, as well as improvements to its parking lot. The post had timber cut from approximately 30 of its almost 38 acres, Thein said, hoping that the timber sale would pay for these much-needed improvements.

But Berry said the timber money must be held back in case the group has to pay more tax bills and cannot be used for construction projects right now.

Berry urged local contractors and other businesses considering donating materials and labor to aid the post with getting a new roof, handicapped ramp and improved parking lot.