TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pagan Group Wins Property Tax Exemption for Religious Organizations

MotherNew York Law Journal:  Pagan Group Wins Tax Exemption for Catskill Property:

A former 19th century inn housing a pagan group whose beliefs hold that the divine female is the source of all earthly life is entitled to a religious exemption from property taxes, a state appeals court has ruled.

The Appellate Division, Third Department, overturned an August 2012 ruling by Acting Albany Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin in finding in favor of the Maetreum of Cybele in its tax dispute with the town of Catskill, Greene County.

The congregation has demonstrated the key element in the test for property tax exemptions on religious grounds, namely that "the property in question must be used primarily for the furtherance" of religious or charitable purposes, Justice William McCarthy wrote for the 4-0 panel in Matter of Maetreum of Cybele, 515596.

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