A South Nashville megachurch’s fight against paying a $425,000
property tax bill could have major implications for churches throughout
the state whose facilities include not only sanctuaries and classrooms,
but also stores and athletic facilities.
When Christ Church, which
has 2,600 members and is on Old Hickory Boulevard, built the
110,000-square-foot Hardwick Activities Center in 2004, it had to
reapply for its tax-exempt status. A government property assessor who
toured the facility in 2007 determined that a bookstore, cafe, fitness
center and gymnasium operated like businesses open to the general public
and denied a tax exemption for those portions of the facility.
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