Taxation Law in Missouri

Editor:
John P. Barrie, Esquire

Sales Tax Exemption – Organization that hosts religious services and sells coffee and tea drinks entitled to sales tax exemption. The Bridge Market and Faith Community v. Director of Revenue, No. 10-1431 RS (Mo. AHC, November 22, 2013) Winn, C.

The organization was formed by two churches in the common interest of establishing a “faith presence” with a model to engage in religious conversations in a nonreligious setting and in that capacity operated a coffee shop for the “whole purpose” bringing people in to develop a new faith community. The director denied the organization’s request for a sales tax exemption on the basis that its coffee shop was not operated for religious purposes. The organization appealed the director’s determination to the administrative hearing commission.

Held:
Exemption granted. The commission determined that the organization qualified as a religious institution and that its operation of a coffee shop was in furtherance of its religious functions and activities to attract potential members of the faith community.