Ruling: Special Assessment Applies to Churches
"A Minnesota appeals court ruled that a city's imposition of a special assessment on abutting landowners to cover the costs of street resurfacing could be applied to churches," said Richard R. Hammar in the September/October issue of Church Law & Tax Report. The church had challenged the assessment of more than $30,000, claiming it should not have to pay for a street resurfacing project. The church said the assessment violated a provision in the state constitution that exempted, among other things, "church property" and "houses of worship" from taxation. The "appeals court ruled that the exemption of church property from taxation did not bar cities from requiring churches to share in the costs of public improvements, such as street resurfacing, that directly benefited them," Hammar said.