A Quartzsite church, which La Paz County says owes a sizable property tax bill, has sued the County with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
The Isaiah 58 Project, whose primary ministry is serving meals to the poor, was sent a property tax bill for $50,000 by La Paz County Assessor George Nault in 2009 which was disputed by the church. The church says it is a nonprofit entity, and therefore should be exempt from paying property taxes. When the church did not pay its bill, the lien was sold at auction to former Quartzsite mayor Richard Oldham, who has held off on exercising his right to foreclose on the property.
The church called on the ADF to help, an organization set up by Focus on the Family leader Dr. James Dobson and others to fight for church rights. The ADF has now brought a lawsuit against the County on behalf of the church.
Sources at La Paz County say that property tax exemptions must be applied for and approved ahead of the tax year and that, if a property owner does not apply in time for such an exemption, the exemption cannot be granted for that year. The Isaiah 58 Project was granted their exemption from 2009 forward, leaving them 3 outstanding years.
Erik Stanley, the ADF attorney bringing the suit, says Assessor George Nault “sat on the paperwork for three years”.
The following video was produced by the Alliance Defense Fund.