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Property Tax and Special Assessments

Churches may be exempt from one and pay the other.

Key point. Church property that is exempt from property tax may be subject to "special assessments" that specifically benefit the property.

A Florida appeals court ruled that churches can be required to pay "special assessments" only if their property is directly benefited. A county ordinance imposed "special assessments" against various property owners, including churches, to pay for fire and rescue services as well as stormwater management services. A group of churches protested payment of these special assessments, claiming that they were exempt from property taxes. A state appeals court ruled that the exemption of church property from property taxes does not exempt such property from special assessments. However, it acknowledged that the distinction between a property tax and a special assessment is often difficult to make. It concluded that a property tax does not necessarily ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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