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Managing Your Church Blog, March, 2019
Miami Church Hit with $7 Million Tax Bill
Miami Church Hit with $7 Million Tax Bill

“The First Presbyterian Church of Miami, the oldest organized congregation in the city, has been hit with a $7.1 million tax bill by the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, which claims the church has leased a portion of church grounds to a for-profit school and food trucks, violating its religious exemption status. The church … has run a K–8 religious school on the property since 2008. The bill comprises a tax lien totaling $6.5 million (including interest and fines) for the years 2009–2017 and a current bill of $509,526.24 for the 2018 year. The taxes only apply to the portions of the property deemed to be in violation of the exemption, between 29 percent and 35 percent, depending on the year. [Based on a state statute] ‘only the portions of a property that are used predominantly for charitable, religious, scientific, or literary purposes can be deemed exempt from taxation’” (“The ‘ultimate nightmare scenario’ for this historic Miami church: A $7 million tax bill,” Miami Herald).