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A Win for Those in Need

Health Care, Land Use & Development, Litigation, Nonprofit, Tax

Timothy S. Hollister represented Rainbow Housing Corporation and its affiliate Gilead Community Services, subsidiaries of mental health services providers Connecticut Institute for the Blind and Oak Hill, in a tax exemption case in the Connecticut Superior Court, and then as co-counsel with Attorney Pat Naples of Shipman & Goodwin, in the Supreme Court.

In Rainbow Housing Corp. v Town of Cromwell, the Town claimed that the Rainbow/Gilead mental health facility did not qualify as tax exempt “temporary housing” because the facility did not have a defined maximum length of stay for individuals receiving mental health services.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Rainbow, stating that as long as the housing is part of a mental health treatment program, and the housing is not permanent in the sense of being a person’s “domicile”, and the length of stay is based on the treatment program, then the property and the facility are tax exempt.

Hinckley Allen congratulates Tim, Rainbow and Gilead on this multi-disciplinary win, as this case has a history dating back to 2015. At that time, Gilead tried to establish, in a residential neighborhood, a group home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. In the aftermath of Gilead’s abandonment of that facility, the town revoked the previously-recognized tax exemption of another group home owned by Rainbow and operated by Gilead, which had been in existence for more than a decade. The revocation resulted in the tax exemption case. Whether the revocation was part of retribution against Gilead is part of a federal civil rights case going to trial in federal District Court in October 2021.

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