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Nonprofit Law/Are Municipalities, Counties Not-For-Profits?


Can the municipal solid waste management facilities (landfills) of a town city, county be set up as not-for-profit entities with excess revenues being designated to 1) offset town / city / county expenses to keep taxes low or 2) pay for parks, recreation facilities and activities or 3) or set aside as scholarships for the higher education of residents?

A  governmental unit, like a county government is able to receive deductible donations. See IRS Publication 526 "Charitable Donations"
on page 2 is the box chart which includes money or property deductible as charitable contributions to, "Federal, state, and local governments, if your contribution is solely for public purposes (for example, a gift to reduce the public debt).

As the word "nonprofit" is used in the context of the IRS a government entity is a nonprofit as it does not distributes profits to shareholders or other insiders, but, as to your specific question, it is up to the municipality or county to decide, in consideration of its laws and its state laws, what it wants to do with the proceeds of its activities. I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your issues are controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I may be able to direct you.

Normally a governing body, like a city counsel or county board of supervisors, has the authority to use any funds for the public purposes that you mentioned, absent some contract or local or state law that prohibits such expenditures. Connecticut General Statutes are available at
and specifically see
as to the Solid Waste Management Services Act. If you want to hire me to consider the particular situation you are in send me an email directly to my email address below and I will quote you my fees.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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