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Parker Live: “ADF attorneys represent [the church] in a lawsuit over the taxes, but because state courts have been unwilling to defer payment of the back-taxes until the completion of litigation, the congregation faced foreclosure,” says an ADF press release issued last month. “After an outpouring of support from Christians across the country, this church won’t have to shut its doors and discontinue its crucial ministry.”
One News Now: ADF attorney Erik Stanley tells OneNewsNow the church faced the possibility of foreclosure.
The Christian Post: A church in Arizona facing the possibility of foreclosure due to owing money on a tax it claims was illegal has raised about $68,000 to remain open. The church is being legally represented by the Scottsdale-based Alliance Defending Freedom, whose Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley commented on Friday about the news.
Alliance Defending Freedom: A small Arizona church that helps the homeless will now be able to remain open after receiving more than $68,000 in donations to cover an illegal tax bill it was required to pay by June 15 to avoid foreclosure. La Paz County required the church to pay the tax even though both state law and the Arizona Department of Revenue say the church isn’t liable.
Alliance Defending Freedom: It taxes the imagination of any reasonable person to understand what the property assessor of La Paz County, Arizona, has against one little desert church near the California border.
Worthy News: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are representing the Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona, but since state courts have been unwilling to defer payment of the back-taxes until litigation is completed, the congregation is facing foreclosure as it operates on a budget of only $50,000 per year.
Charisma News: “Churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished by the government when they’ve not done anything wrong, but that’s precisely what is happening to this church. If La Paz County officials have their way, this church will lose everything,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.
One News Now: “Churches really are in partnership with the government,” ADF’s Erik Stanley says. “They’re in partnership with the community to provide social services to the community to reach out to the poor and needy.”
CBN: “Churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished by the government when they’ve not done anything wrong,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said.
Alliance Defending Freedom: La Paz County is forcing a small Quartzsite church that helps the homeless to close its doors by June 15 unless it pays $68,000 in back-taxes and penalties that both state law and the Arizona Department of Revenue say the church doesn’t owe.
Charisma News: Loving the homeless is their calling. Now, as a church, they face homelessness themselves.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Loving the homeless is their calling. Now, as a church, they face homelessness themselves.
One News Now: ADF attorney Erik Stanley is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that churches “shouldn’t live in fear of being punished by the government when they’ve not done anything wrong.” Stanley, Erik (ADF)“If government officials have their way, this church will lose everything,” Stanley further explains. “The county assessor illegally levied more than $50,000 in taxes against the church even though the Arizona Department of Revenue provided a letter stating that the church should owe no taxes.”
Religion Clause Blog: In Church of the Isaiah 58 Project of Arizona, Inc. v. La Paz County, Arizona, (AZ App., Sept. 12, 2013), an Arizona state appellate court affirmed the state tax court’s dismissal of a church’s suit for injunctive and declaratory relief after the church was wrongly denied a property tax exemption.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley will be available for media interviews following his oral argument Tuesday at the Arizona Court of Appeals in defense of a church facing an illegally assessed property tax bill that would force it to shut down.
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss this: ADF files suit to protect Ariz. church from foreclosure based on $50K illegal tax bill | MP3 audio 19:17 mins
ADF attorney Erik Stanley at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog (includes video): The Church’s story in this case is truly remarkable. The County had no basis to assess the property taxes against the Church in the first place and the Church faces the very real prospect of losing everything because the County refuses to correct its own wrongdoing. Take a minute and view the video about the Church of the Isaiah 58 Project and what it is doing to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in its community . . .
One News Now: ADF attorney Erik Stanley explains the situation. “The assessor responded by sitting on the paperwork for three years and then only granted the church a property tax exemption for the tax years of 2009 and forward, assessed the church over $50,000 in property taxes for the time that he sat on the church’s application, didn’t act on it, and that resulted in a tax lien that was put on the property.”
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed suit against La Paz County Wednesday for hitting a rural Arizona church with a $50,000 tax bill that the state agrees the church does not owe. The bill has resulted in a tax lien on the church’s property which could result in foreclosure and an end to the church’s ministry, including its outreach to the needy–a program praised by the Quartzsite mayor, town manager, and police chief.