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WEBINAR—The Nonprofit Property Tax Battle: Rainbow Housing Corp. v. Town of Cromwell

When: 10/14/2021 at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT
Speaker: Timothy S. Hollister

What It Means for Nonprofits in CT

On September 1, the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that a group home in Cromwell qualified as exempt from municipal property taxation under Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(7), holding that the home constituted “temporary housing.”

In 2017, the local tax assessor denied the application for property tax exemption by Rainbow Housing Corporation (the owner) and Gilead Community Services (the operator), despite two prior grants of exemption for the same property. Rainbow and Gilead appealed to court, asserting that the home is tax-exempt charitable property under General Statutes § 12-81(7). The municipality argued that the property was taxable used for “housing subsidized, in whole or in part, by federal, state or local government,” and did not qualify as one of the categories of “temporary housing” that is tax exempt even if subsidized. Rainbow and Gilead contended that the property is not subsidized housing, but is “temporary” housing for “persons with a mental health disorder.”

The trial court agreed with Rainbow and Gilead. The Supreme Court agreed that the property qualifies for tax exemption as temporary housing, but did not address whether the property is subsidized housing.

The Court’s opinion is a significant victory for nonprofit organizations across the State, but questions remain, such as:

  • What changes, if any, should nonprofits make to their internal documentation, practices, and procedures when seeking or renewing exemptions?
  • What should nonprofits include on their M-3 applications?
  • What might nonprofits expect to hear from local tax assessors seeking to deny them tax-exempt treatment, and how should they respond?
  • What legal questions pertaining to nonprofit municipal property taxation remain unanswered?

Partner Tim Hollister will be joined by Pat Naples, Shipman & Goodwin LLP, who represented Rainbow and Gilead throughout the appeal, and Ben Shaiken, Director of Government Relations for the Alliance, for a discussion of these questions and more.

To register for this event, please click here.