News Articles

Texas convention wins tax-exempt status challenge

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)–Reversing an earlier decision, officials in Tarrant County, Texas, Dec. 21 said that the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s office and property in Grapevine, Texas, would enjoy tax exempt status.

In 2004 the Tarrant County Appraisal District denied the convention’s application for religious tax exemption on the grounds that the SBTC office building failed to meet standards of properties exempted for religious use.

In April 2005, SBTC attorney Shelby Sharpe told the convention’s executive board he believed the county erred in making judgments on the type and frequency of worship at the SBTC office.

If tax exemption had been denied, the cost to the convention would have been about $100,000 annually, said Joe Davis, SBTC chief financial officer.

The conservative legal group Alliance Defense Fund assisted in the case.

“This is a win for religious liberty in the state of Texas,” ADF attorney Mike Johnson said in a statement. “It’s not the government’s business to intrude upon religious organizations and start determining what types of activities inside a building are ‘religious enough’ and which ones aren’t.”

    About the Author

  • Staff