The New York City Council is attempting to solve a tax exemption puzzle that has long befuddled the city’s nonprofits. The council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday calling on Albany to introduce legislation that would grant real estate tax exemptions to qualified nonprofits from the day the property is acquired. Currently, nonprofits must pay tax for at least six months, and sometimes almost 18 months, before the exemption begins. The new legislation, proposed by Councilmember Simcha Felder and drafted by the city’s Finance Department, would cost the city about $1 million per year in tax revenue. In testimony before the city council, Sam Miller, assistant commissioner of the Department of Finance, argued that was “a small price to pay” for a law that would help nonprofits focus their limited resources on vital services. [08/16/04]