Cemetery misses annual report filings

January 20, 2012
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Forest Hills Cemetery has never filed a mandatory yearly report, according to the Secretary of State’s Office website.

It is also apparently based out of a nonexistent address, according to city tax records.

As of 1985, cemeteries, along with all other nonprofits, are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s Office that lists administrative information.

Forest Hills Cemetery has only filed what is on the Secretary of State’s website, which means it has not been filing its required annual reports, said Brian McNiff, spokesperson for the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s Office.

The only document available online is a change of directors form filed in May of last year. The website also lists a certificate of organization filed in 1868, but it is not available for online viewing.

“There is a statute that says they should file,” McNiff said. “They owe a few annual reports.”

“I don’t handle that end of it,” said cemetery CEO George Milley. “I will look into [the missing reports] myself.”

Nonprofits that do not file annual reports may be sent a notice that they must file. The Secretary of State’s Office could petition a court to dissolve a nonprofit that appears to be inactive, McNiff told the Gazette.

“But with nonprofit corporations, it’s not usually done,” McNiff said. That is both because of Secretary of State’s Office staffing demands and because of the social benefits a nonprofit may be providing even if it doesn’t file paperwork on time.

It is unlikely that any punishment will result, McNiff said, as it is not unusual for nonprofits to fail to file.

The cemetery owns more than 275 acres, according to its website. The property includes two occupied rental properties.

The Forest Hills Educational Trust, the cemetery’s “friends” organization that plans all the programming held at the cemetery and also a nonprofit, has filings available at Attorney General Martha Coakley’s website for the last 10 years.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, another garden cemetery with educational programming, has yearly filings available online back to 1996.

According to the city’s online tax records, the cemetery address is 165A Block St. in Roslindale. Block Street does not appear in the City’s official street guide. The cemetery’s address, according to its website, is 95 Forest Hills Ave.

 

Updated version: This version corrects a previous version that said annual reports must contain “financial” information. Annual reports must only contain a list of directors and similar administrative information.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4QX6GPHXZCW5LNSZ46IKHNCDWE rsixftunder

    Either this article is horribly written or the sources are just simply confused.
    Are the non profit cemeteries required to submit the reports or not?

    Do they regularly do so, or don’t they?

    What’s the purpose for having any regulation if you can’t decide whether they are enforceable or not?

    This is either the craziest article I have read, or the worst attempt at not regulating I have ever seen.  If you aren’t going to enforce the laws, abolish them.