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Nonprofit unable to prove it is entitled to charitable tax exemption

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The Indiana Tax Court Friday upheld the decision to deny a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year to a Bartholomew County nonprofit that provides housing for low-income residents. The court agreed the nonprofit failed to show that its rental properties qualified for the exemption under I.C. 6-1.1-10-16.

Housing Partnerships builds or rehabs housing units and rents or sells them to low- and moderate-income people who may not otherwise be able to obtain safe and decent housing. The organization receives income from donations, federal grants and the money it receives from the sale and rental of its units.

In 2006, Housing Partnerships sought an exemption on each of its rental properties and its administrative office, claiming they were entitled to the exemption outlined in I.C. 6-1.1-10-16 because they were used to provide housing to low-income residents. Its application was denied, and the Indiana Board of Tax Review ruled in 2010 that the organization failed to establish a prima facie case that the properties are entitled to the tax exemption.

Because the provision of low-income housing is not per se a charitable purpose, Housing Partnerships needed to demonstrate that it was taking on a task that would otherwise fall to the government, thus providing a benefit to the community as a whole because the government is able to direct its funds to other community needs.

In Housing Partnerships, Inc. v. Tom Owens, Bartholomew County Assessor, 49T10-1005-TA-23, Housing Partnerships argued that the final determination must be overturned because it is arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion because the board ignored Housing Partnerships’ evidence. It also argued that the final determination is contrary to law.

The IBTR explained that the evidence showed that Housing Partnerships was “a good landlord” and did some “nice things for its tenants,” but it did not demonstrate that the subject properties were owned, occupied and predominately used for a charitable purpose as that term is used in I.C. 6-1.1-10-16. The board’s conclusion that a taxpayer must show more than just good deeds and a nonprofit status is supported by Tax Court caselaw, Judge Martha Wentworth wrote. Housing Partnerships also did not provide evidence that it has relieved the government of an expense that it would have otherwise borne.

Wentworth also found reasonable the board’s conclusion that Housing Partnerships did not provide facts showing that its provision of low-income housing met the legal requirements of a charitable purpose that would entitle it to an exemption from property taxes.
 

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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