By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - St. Louis County Board of Equalization has ruled in favor of Kirkwood Schools in a battle that seems to pit the interest of children and their education against the interest of seniors and their retirement community.
At issue is whether a luxury senior living facility should be exempt from paying property taxes. "Over 10 years we could lose almost $7 million of revenue if Aberdeen Heights is granted non-profit status," said Dr. Tom Williams, Superintendent of the Kirkwood School District.
Aberdeen Heights is a senior living community owned by Presbyterian Manors. "We are the 18th community of Presbyterian Manors. All have been tax exempt and exempt from property taxes," said Scott Polzin, Executive Director of Aberdeen Heights.
In an interview with NewsChannel 5's I-Team in February, Polzin explained, "the mission of Presbyterian Manors is to provide Christian based retirement living." But he also said there company has no financial relationship with the Presbyterian Synod.
In an e-mailed statement Polzin, the executive director for Aberdeen Heights said, "While we are disappointed with the decision regarding the property tax-exempt status of Aberdeen Heights, we will continue to stand true to our organization's mission of serving older adults through faith-based values each and every day. It is our intention to appeal the recent ruling by the Board of Equalization, and we are optimistic that we will reach a mutually beneficial resolution for all organizations involved."