Nonprofit groups persist in seeking downtown Chattanooga fee waivers

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / The steeples of Saint Paul's Episcopal, left, and Second Presbyterian flank the Republic Centre. The YMCA, United Way and the two churches, pictured, have twice appealed for waivers of fees in the new Business Improvement District in downtown Chattanooga.

Leaders of several nonprofit organizations said they're relieved annual fees were largely waived a second time inside a new downtown Chattanooga business improvement district, but that doesn't mean they're done fighting.

"It's based upon property, and it's a property tax, and we're exempt from it, and if we don't continue to fight this, there's no end to what can happen to a nonprofit organization like the [YMCA] that's giving back to the community all the time," said Janet Dunn, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga.

In addition to continuing to appeal to the business improvement district's board of directors for fee waivers, they'll approach the Chattanooga City Council about amending the ordinance that established the district in 2019, leaders of the nonprofit groups said.

"We're going to work through the process to try and get the ordinance changed," said the Rev.