West Side Christian Church v. Illinois Department of Revenue, 2017 Il. App. 4th 150907. May 15, 2017.
The West Side Christian Church has operated a day care center since 1984. The church sought exemption from property tax for a new property in 2010.
Open to all, the day care center includes religious instruction. Tuition is charged and non-payment results in dis-enrollment of a child.
Administrative proceedings resulted in a determination that the da care center was not a primarily religious function, nor did it fall within traditional education parameters, and that the center operated as a for-profit entity might. This ruling was affirmed.
The court noted that although courts may not intrude in ecclesial matters, courts may make assessments of the nature of property use. If it were otherwise all tax exemptions would become matters of self-designation.