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Houses Of Worship May Be Tax-Exempt


In Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that New York City does not violate the establishment clause by exempting houses of worship from property taxes. The benefit to churches is the same as that received by nonprofit organizations and quasi-public corporations, including hospitals, libraries, and historical and patriotic groups, the Court says. The exemption policy recognizes such groups as “beneficial and stabilizing influences in community life,” the Court says.