As shown below, the Conecuh County on-line website is now showing that Kent Hovind, through his surrogate, alter ego and nominee tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, Creation Science Evangelism Ministries, Inc, owns 145 acres on Pearl Lane near Lenox, AL.
I personally called the county property tax office to confirm it is the tax exempt and not the for profit corporation using a similar name.
I was further advised by that office that they had the property tax exemption issue under consideration and had not made a decision as to how much, if any, of the 145 acres should be exempted from property taxes.
For clearer image see:
In a related case recently decided, out of Dane County Wisconsin, a judge ruled that the Catholic Church was not entitled to a property tax exemption on a valuable piece of property not currently being used for an exempt purpose.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Lanford decided on Oct. 4 that a 1.3-acre lot in Madison owned by the Catholic Church is not exempt from property taxes. The Church sued the city last year to recover taxes it paid on the lot, which amount to nearly $100,000 per year.
FFRF filed an amicus curiae brief in June supporting the city of Madison. FFRF’s brief questioned how St. Raphael’s could retain an exemption while it was really just holding on to the lot as a future site of a $50 million cathedral.
We will have to wait and see what the Conecuh County officials decide as to Kent Hovind’s 145 acres which, in my opinion, have no part being used exclusively for exempt purposes and may never have any part used exclusively for qualifying exempt purposes.
Increasingly, it seems to me, local taxing authorities are becoming more and more suspect, and rightly so, regarding the use of tax exemptions by tax exempt organizations.
The recent Wisconsin case is one example.
Maybe Kent Hovind’s case will be a test case as to how the local authorities in Conecuh County, AL will be more closely scrutinizing tax exemptions.
On a more fundamental level, I believe that Kent’s 501(c)(3) organization currently holding tax exempt status is a sham and should be disregarded for tax purposes; but that’s a whole other matter.