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Court upholds denial of tax exemptions

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The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday ruled that the state Board of Tax Review did not err when it determined a nonprofit in Mooresville was not entitled to either a fraternal beneficiary association exemption or a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles #3988, a mutual benefit corporation, is a nonprofit whose motto is “People helping People.” It owned a lodge in Mooresville used to raise funds for charitable organizations, collect donations for needy family and to host private events for its members. In 2006, Eagles sought either a fraternal beneficiary association exemption or a charitable purposes exemption for the 2006 tax year on its real and personal property, which was denied by the county property tax assessment board of appeals.

The Indiana Board of Tax Review held a hearing at which Eagles presented its charitable donation records for 2003 through 2006, its monthly profit/loss statements for 2005, several affidavits, and a usage study to show that it used its property for fraternal and charitable purposes. The tax board denied the exemptions, which the Indiana Tax Court upheld in Fraternal Order of Eagles #3988, Inc. v. Morgan County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and Morgan County Assessor, 49T10-1201-TA-4.

Eagles claimed the board’s determination that it failed to establish a prima facie case that it was entitled to the fraternal beneficiary association exemption under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-23 or to the charitable purposes exemption under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16 is contrary to law and unsupported by substantial evidence.

“Eagles was required to present probative evidence demonstrating that it satisfies the statutory definition of a fraternal beneficiary association set forth in Indiana Code § 27-11-1-1. Eagles’ recognition as an I.R.C. § 501(c)(8) fraternal beneficiary society, order, or association for federal income tax purposes does not, by itself, establish that Eagles met all the definitional requirements contained in Indiana Code § 27-11-1-1. Moreover, Eagles failed to show how its other documentary and testimonial evidence satisfied each element of the definition of a ‘fraternal beneficiary association’ as defined under Indiana Code § 27-11-1-1,” Judge Martha Wentworth wrote.

Eagles’ evidence didn’t indicate whether it has a representative form of government as required under the statute, and the evidence could not independently demonstrate that Eagles met the six statutorily prescribed elements of the definition of “fraternal beneficiary association.”

Eagles used its property both for a variety of social and recreational purposes and for charitable purposes, but the usage report didn’t provide the board with a comparison of the relative amounts of time that the lodge was used for exempt and non-exempt purposes, Wentworth wrote. Eagles’ failure to provide this comparison was fatal to its claim for either a full or a partial exemption regarding the charitable purposes exemption.  

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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