Jehovah’s Witnesses tax exemption saved them $368M since 2004: report

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership pressuring church to donate $50M before it quits the borough

New York /
Feb.February 04, 2016 09:32 AM

The Jehovah’s Witnesses — a religious organization that owns dozens of valuable Brooklyn properties – save quite a bit on taxes.

Over the last 12 years, the church has saved at least $368 million in property taxes, according to a new report by BJH Advisors, a consultancy, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Property taxes on the Witnesses’ 37 Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo properties were estimated at $138.6 million since 2006. The church also saved $230 million on transfer and capital gains taxes on the 21 properties it has sold since 2004.

The Partnership is attempting to pressure the Witnesses into donating $50 million to Brooklyn before their planned relocation upstate. The Partnership has argued that the Witnesses have benefitted greatly from Brooklyn’s rise to prominence over the last decades, but haven’t sufficiently given back, Crain’s reported.

“Once they leave and head upstate, if anyone goes knocking on their door with a tin cup saying, ‘Hey, remember Brooklyn,’ it is going to fall on deaf ears,” the Partnership’s president, Tucker Reed told Crain’s.

The church has been selling off properties for years in anticipation of the move. It’s currently marketing at least five properties including its 733,000-square-foot headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights, known as the Watchtower.

Combined, those properties could earn as much as $1 billion, according to industry experts. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Brian Feil of the Feil Organization and 360-370 Fulton Street (Google Maps)
Feil Organization to buy Downtown Brooklyn development portfolio
Feil Organization to buy Downtown Brooklyn development portfolio
LIVWRK’s Asher Abehsera and CIM's Shaul Kuba with an aerial of 85 Jay Street (LIVWRK, Getty, Google Maps)
CIM, LIVWRK look to sell Dumbo rentals for $235M
CIM, LIVWRK look to sell Dumbo rentals for $235M
A rendering of the project in Brooklyn and Edward Minskoff (Marvel Architects; Getty)
Minskoff proposes 220K sf commercial building in Dumbo
Minskoff proposes 220K sf commercial building in Dumbo
10 Jay Street and Rent The Runway CEO and co-founder Jennifer Hyman and a store location in New York City (Getty; ODA Architecture)
On the rack: Rent the Runway’s Dumbo space up for rent
On the rack: Rent the Runway’s Dumbo space up for rent
Paul Travis, managing partner at Washington Square Partners, and Brooklyn's City Point (Getty, Google Maps)
Brooklyn’s City Point signs 62K-sf lease with school
Brooklyn’s City Point signs 62K-sf lease with school
Rockrose Development President Justin Elghanayan and 98 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn
Rockrose’s new Brooklyn skyscraper will rise 47 stories
Rockrose’s new Brooklyn skyscraper will rise 47 stories
Charlie Kushner and WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani with Dumbo Heights (Credit: Kushner via Sasha Maslov; Getty Images; Dumbo Heights)
For Kushner Cos., WeWork could be a problem at Dumbo Heights
For Kushner Cos., WeWork could be a problem at Dumbo Heights
Spaces Event
Look inside: TRD‘s co-working event at SPACES’ Dumbo location
Look inside: TRD‘s co-working event at SPACES’ Dumbo location
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...