Friday, July 18, 2008

IL Resident Declares their Home a Church and Gets Tax Breaks

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois State government allowed a Lake Bluff resident to convert his home into church, that correlated to a $80,000 in property tax reduction. Below is a snippet from the news story.

“When George Michael placed a cross on the side of his lakefront mansion, neighbors assumed the decoration was simply a display of the man's religious faith.

What his neighbors didn't know is that Michael had decided to convert his $3 million residence into the Armenian Church of Lake Bluff, qualifying him for a nearly $80,000 break on his annual property tax bill.

Now, locals are questioning whether the property is a church at all. Village officials wonder how they'll be able to make up the lost revenue, and residents worry that their share of the tax burden will grow as a result.

Meanwhile, Lake Bluff officials notified Michael that if he is running a church, he will need to pay more than $115,000 in fines for failing to get the village's permission, setting up a possible court battle.”

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