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Church Property

• A Pennsylvania court ruled that a nonprofit corporation that published religious materials was not exempt from property taxes. The publisher (which was not affiliated with a church or denomination) publishes quarterly Bible study guides that it makes available for a suggested annual donation of $20. The court noted that the property of "purely public charities" is exempt from taxation under state law, and that an institution qualifies as a purely public charity only if it (1) advances a charitable purpose, (2) donates a substantial portion of its services, (3) benefits a substantial and indefinite class of persons who are legitimate subjects of charity, (4) relieves the government of some of its burdens, and (5) operates entirely free from the private profit motive. The court concluded that the publisher failed to satisfy a number of these requirements. For example, only 14% of its ...

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  • September 3, 1990

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