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Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona v. La Paz County

summary

Isaiah 58 Project Church is a small church located in Quartzsite, Arizona. Started by Pastor Mike Hobby and his wife Linda, the church meets weekly for worship like any other church, but it also does a lot of work helping the homeless. The church provides thousands of meals to the homeless each year, operates a food and clothing bank, provides free showers and provides free transportation to the homeless.

In 2009, the church filed a property tax exemption application for the property, but the county property assessor refused to grant the exemption because the church did not have a 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS. The church explained that a letter from the IRS was not needed, but the assessor let his exemption application stand for three years, then inexplicably granted future exemptions, but from 2009 to 2012. assessed taxes on the church.

ADF filed suit on behalf of the church, arguing that the tax was assessed illegally and that the church did not have to pay the tax because paying it would shut down the church. An Arizona court has ruled that the church must first pay taxes before it can challenge it as illegal. The church faced foreclosure because it did not have enough funds to pay taxes.

With ADF's support, the church engaged in a last-minute fundraising campaign, and churches and individuals across the country responded by providing enough funds to help the church pay its taxes and avoid impending foreclosure. The payment paved the way for ADF to attempt to recover the taxes it claims were wrongly assessed.

what is the problem

The ability of the church to survive without being subject to illegal taxation that could lead to church foreclosure.

Our role in this case

ADF filed a lawsuit on behalf of the church, and we assisted the church in raising funds to pay the illegally imposed property taxes.

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