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Justices won’t hear Gainesville chamber tax break fight

Gavel (Pixlr)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up an appeal by Alachua County’s property appraiser and tax collector in a dispute about whether a local chamber of commerce should receive a property-tax exemption.

As is common, justices did not explain their reasons for deciding against hearing the appeal filed by Alachua County Property Appraiser Ed Crapo and Tax Collector John Power.

The local officials went to the Supreme Court after a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a tax exemption for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce because of the non-profit organization’s “charitable purpose.”

The chamber had a property-tax exemption before 2014, but the property appraiser and tax collector then denied the exemption. At least in part, the denial stemmed from a decision that economic development has not traditionally been considered a charitable activity.