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Response to pnwmom (Reply #53)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 02:00 PM

62. There are constitutional issues with doing it

The law here is pretty well understood and pretty broadly applied.

Local taxing authorities can give exemptions on commercial property, but they normally do so to attract businesses in. In other words, they give an exemption for five or ten years (or a lower tax rate) in order to get a convention center built, or a business complex built, or move in a factory.

That's the use of local tax exemptions with which I am familiar. It's possible that some such arrangement could be made with a non-profit, but they rarely have enough money to make it worthwhile for the locality.

Technically, if a local tax authority were to decide to exempt commercial use property from taxation if it were owned by a church on a wholesale basis, it would be unconstitutional, and a suit would remove the exemption.

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