Church Can’t Claim Tax Break for On-Site Janitor

     (CN) – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected a Methodist church’s bid to claim tax-exempt status for an on-site janitor it said was “integral to the functioning of the church.”




     The city of Wauwatosa assessed the janitor’s residence, which is owned by and located on the site of the Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church.
     The church argued that its tax-exempt status should extend to the janitor’s house, because he is “integral to the functioning of the church.”
     Judge Brennan upheld the ruling of the city tax assessor, noting that the statute only allows exemptions for pastors, members of religious orders, ordained teachers and assistant pastors.
     Brennan wrote that contrary to the church’s claim, the custodian is not integral to the function of the church.
     “The purpose of a church is spiritual formation and guidance,” the judge wrote. “It cannot be said that the church custodian is reasonable necessary to the function of the church.”

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