GLAA supports tax relief for SMYAL
Honorable Jack Evans
Council of the District of Columbia
Committee on Finance and Revenue
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC strongly supports the passage of B15-257, the "Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League Equitable Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2003."
As a youth service agency serving the metropolitan area of Washington, DC, including Maryland and Northern Virginia, SMYAL's mission is to support and enhance the self-esteem of sexual minority youth (13-21) who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or who may be questioning their sexuality -- and to increase public awareness and understanding of their issues. SMYAL offers counseling, after school drop-in, HIV education, support groups, art and other educational and recreational services. SMYAL engages in training of DC teachers, counselors and students on harassment in the schools and has been the lead organization working to implement the recently enacted harassment policy in the DC Public Schools.
GLAA has been supportive of SMYAL since it was founded in 1984. SMYAL has served District youth in untold ways and saved the District countless dollars in services, productivity, and reduction in crime.
The administrative hurdles of acquiring property and applying for property tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) organization left a lag from May 8, 2000 though September 10, 2001 in which SMYAL was required to pay the property tax. Forgiving and refunding this tax will be all but unnoticed by DC but make a significant difference in SMYAL's ability to provide services for our youth.
Please pass this bill and help support the youth.
cc: All DC Councilmembers