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Taxation of Undeveloped Church Property

In some states, vacant church-owned land may not be exempt from property taxes.

Utah
State:
Categories:
Key point. Vacant, church—owned land that is acquired for future development is not exempt from property taxes in some states.

The Utah Supreme Court ruled that a parcel of vacant land purchased by a church was not exempt from property taxes despite the church's use of the land for occasional worship services. The land was purchased as a site for a new church building. The church maintained the land but did not begin construction of a new church building. However, the church did use the property for religious purposes. For approximately two hours each year the church held religious services on the property. The church sought to have the land exempted from property taxes, but its application was denied on the ground that the church's use of the property for religious purposes as insignificant and "insufficient to qualify the property for exemption." The church appealed to the ...

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Posted:
  • March 3, 1997

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