Word of His Grace Fellowship, Inc. v. State Board of Tax Commissioners, 711 N.E.2d 875 (Ind. Tax Court 1999)
Key point. Property occupied and used by a church may be exempt from property tax even if the church does not own it.
An Indiana court ruled that a church's property was entitled to exemption from property tax even though it did not have legal title to the property.
A church purchased property under a "contract for deed" that is used for religious purposes. Under this arrangement, the seller retained title to the property to secure payment of the purchase price from the church. The church's application for a property tax exemption was denied on the ground that the church was not the legal owner of the property. Under Indiana law, property is eligible for exemption from property tax if it is "owned, occupied, and used" by a church or other religious entity ...