ADF intervenes in church tax tussle

A Christian organization known for defending church rights around America is intervening in the property tax bill of a Quartzsite church after the church received a bill they claim they do not owe.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), founded by well-known conservative Christian leaders like Bill Bright and James Dobson, says the Isaiah 58 Project church should not owe any property taxes on the land they have owned since 2006 because they are a non-profit organization.

An ADF press release states:

The assessor granted the tax exemption but waited three years to do so and only granted it for the years 2009 and later, leaving the church with a bill for approximately $50,000 in back taxes for the years 2006-2008 that it should not owe. After the assessor refused to correct the error, the church contacted the Arizona Department of Revenue, which issued a letter in June clearly stating that the church is exempt from property taxes under state law and that the “tax-exempt status granted by this letter is effective from and after August 24, 2006.” Nonetheless, the assessor has not acted to correct the error. Instead, it sold the tax lien on the church to a private investor who now holds the right to foreclose on the lien in February of next year.

The ADF has sent a letter to County Treasurer Leah Castro asking her to act within her statutory power to override the tax bill and correct what it says is a bureaucratic error. (The letter is available here.)

La Paz County Assessor George Nault was immediately familiar with the situation, and says he is confident his office acted according to the law and that the property tax bill is correct.

One comment

  1. Former Mayor Richard Olham bought the note at auction, without realizing it was for the property belonging to Isaiah 58 Project. He told me emphatically that he has no intention of foreclosing on the church and was horrified when he discovered what he had purchased. If the Treasurer were to override the tax bill, would the (bankrupt) county have to reimburse Oldham? Personally, I don’t trust Nault…

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