Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tax-exempt musicians?

In a case that could possibly affect property owners in Georgia whose tax-exempt status is murky, Athens-Clarke County is taking Nuci’s Space to court.  (See this article from the Athens Banner-Herald.)  Nuci’s operates a nonprofit venture for musicians but also stages for-profit concerts. They pay no property taxes, but Athens-Clarke argues that they should.

Meanwhile,the University of Georgia is being audited by the IRS for income from UGA’s non-educational ventures like its golf course. Athens-Clarke officials say the Nuci’s Space lawsuit would have no bearing on UGA because Georgia law is ironclad with respect to the non-taxability of schools. The outcome of the Nuci’s case should have no effect on educational, government, or religious institutions.

By the way, the largest tax exempt property owners in Decatur are DeKalb County, Agnes Scott, the City of Decatur, Columbia Seminary, the Decatur Housing Authority, DeKalb Medical, the First Baptist Church, Decatur First United Methodist Church, MARTA, and Decatur Presbyterian Church. Two final notes: 1) Decatur’s tax-exempt owners do pay stormwater bills and 2) they’re also some of the largest employers in town.

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