Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maryland High Court Says Apartment Building Housing Mormon Ordinance Workers Is A Tax Exempt Convent

In Green v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (MD Ct. App., Jan. 23, 2013), the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled that an apartment complex owned by the Mormon Church used to house a revolving group of ordinance workers who perform religious ceremonies full-time for a two-year period at the Church’s Washington, D.C. Temple is entitled to a tax exemption as a "convent." The majority of these workers are retired married couples.  The court interpreted "convent" as used in Md. Code 7-204 to mean "a community of people who live together, follow strict religious vows, and devote themselves full-time to religious work." The court held that the Tax Court's narrower definition accorded only with certain religious traditions such as the Catholic or Anglican churches.

1 comment:

coltakashi said...

I think the court reached the right decision. The service of the retired couples who work at the temple is without any monetary compensation, and they live a strict code that requires no consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or tea, and strict fidelity within marriage. Their time is strictly regulated so that they devote most of their waking hours to service in the temple.