Thursday, 31 May 2012 by Advantax
Is the bathroom in your church subject to property taxes? It might be if you live in New Hampshire. The Supreme Court of New Hampshire ruled to give cities the power to tax churches on a room-by-room basis. Any rooms not deemed to be used for religious purposes can be subject to property tax.
The case involved the City of Concord taxing Liberty Assembly of God on 40 percent of its property in 2008. The city included storage rooms and a second floor men’s room in its analysis of what was not being used for religious purposes. The church argued that the city wasn’t empowered to assess on a room-by-room basis to determine which rooms were not being used for religious purposes. The Supreme Court agreed with the city in a unanimous decision.
Now, call me crazy, but will this new skill be taught at NH assessor school? Perhaps they can title the class, “How to determine if a room is being used for religious purposes”. And, what about churches who efficiently use gyms for their services? Will those rooms be deemed as not being used for religious purposes? And the men’s room? Come on! I use the men’s room at my church almost every time I’m there. I’d personally find it difficult to have a religious experience without it!
Perhaps the Supreme Court of New Hampshire has gone too far. What do you think?