MISSION, Kansas - City leaders came up with the driveway tax back in August to pay for road projects. It's based on how much traffic a property gets. Homeowners pay $72 a year, but some businesses like Target are looking at a $65,000 bill.
The Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of The First Baptist Church of Mission and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City and St. Pius X in January of 2011 claiming the fee was unconstitutional.
Erik Stanley the Senior Legal Counsel with Alliance Defense Fund said, “it’s in effect a tax on church attendance because what it does is it taxes people on the number of trips in and out of the churches driveway, and based on the number of seats in the church’s auditorium.”
That adds up to about $900 dollars for the First Baptist church and $1,700 dollars St. Pius X.
In late February, the lawyers added an amended petition that claims the tax is not only unconstitutional for the churches but also the whole city.
"It was an invalid excise tax which, cities in Kansas are prohibited in passing so if that is passed it will strike the tax as it is applied to everyone in the City of Mission," said Stanley.
He claims supreme courts in Idaho and Florida have already struck down identical tax. So he’s hopeful they will win the case.
The city says it’s a fee and not a tax and since there’s a pending lawsuit they can’t say anything further.
If you want to read the lawsuit, click here .
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