Howard Friedman, Religion Clause
Camp Retreats Foundation, Inc. v. Township of Marathon, (MI App., May 15, 2012), a Michigan state appellate court reversed the state’s Tax Tribunal and found that a Muslim summer camp is entitled to a property tax exemption as a charitable institution. The Tax Tribunal had held that the camp primarily promoted sports and recreation. The court disagreed, finding that the camp qualified under the definition of a charity:
Despite the articles’ emphasis on athletic activities for youth, Camp Retreats’ central focus is on providing the Islamic community with religious experience in a camp environment….. Contrary to the Tribunal’s reasoning, the presence of fences on the property and signs warning against trespassing bear no relationship to whether Camp Retreats offers its charity generally and without restriction.
Volokh Conspiracy has more on the case. [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]