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Taxation - Part 1

Church Property

Wisconsin
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• Does property vacated but still owned by a religious organization continue to qualify for exemption from real estate taxes under a Wisconsin law exempting "property owned and used exclusively by … a religious association"? No, concluded a state appeals court. A Catholic order operated a convent on the property from 1953 through 1983, when it moved its members to new facilities in another state. The Wisconsin property was listed for sale, but did not sell for two years. A local tax assessor, finding the property to be vacant and listed for sale, determined that it was not exempt from real estate taxes for 1984 or 1985. The Catholic order argued that the property continued to qualify for exemption even after it was vacated, since (1) it stored some maintenance tools and lawn implements there; (2) it retained a groundskeeper to maintain the property; (3) it had the property listed ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1988

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