Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is YMCA A Religious Organization?-- Colorado Tax Board Must Decide

The Colorado State Board of Assessment Appeals on Monday heard arguments in a challenge to the property tax-exemption that the state has given to the YMCA for its properties in two Rocky Mountain vacation areas-- Estes Park and Snow Mountain Ranch. The Longmont Daily Times-Call yesterday reported that the dispute centers on whether or not the YMCA's facilities are places of religious worship. YMCA attorney Stuart Lark said that the YMCA "is a Christian organization" committed to providing "a Christian environment" for people visiting the resort areas, even if those guests are not Christians themselves. Competing hotel owners say the tax exemption gives the YMCA an unfair competitive advantage.