Ruling in Favor of Acton Institute on Tax Dispute With City of Grand Rapids
A two-year dispute between the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and the City of Grand Rapids over the non-profit's exempt status under state property tax law is over.
According to the Acton Institute, in 2014, the City of Grand Rapids rejected Acton's request for a tax exemption on its building, parking areas and personal property at 98 E. Fulton.
Acton purchased the property in 2012 and renovated the property. An appeal before the City's 2014 Board of Review was denied, leading Acton to bring its case before the Michigan Tax Tribunal in Lansing. On March 8, Presiding Judge Preeti P. Gadola granted a Consent Judgment between Acton and the City, bringing two years of litigation to a close.
Since filing its appeal in 2014, Acton has paid more than $205,000 in property taxes, which the City must now refund, with interest. Acton will be exempted from these taxes going forward.
"We were confident from the outset that Acton would prevail on the merits, and we did," said Acton's Executive Director Kris Mauren.
In one court document the City of Grand Rapids called Acton a "politically driven think tank that publishes right-wing libertarian, philosophical, and political propaganda tempered with extreme right-wing viewpoints."
In another court filing, the City of Grand Rapids claimed that Acton was "ironically and hypocritically … anti-charity."
Acton Institute is a tax-exempt organization under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code.