WCVO (104.9 The River)/Columbus, OH Battles State Over Property Tax Exemption
November 30, 2015 at 4:07 AM (PT)
The property tax exemption enjoyed by ONE CONNECTION MEDIA GROUP Contemporary Christian WCVO (104.9 THE RIVER)/COLUMBUS, OH is being challenged in OHIO Supreme Court, reports the COLUMBUS DISPATCH's TIM FERAN.
At issue is a 2008 OHIO Board of Tax Appeals case that denied the station a property tax exemption due to the GAHANNA property's use solely for radio broadcasting and not as a place of public worship. The station appealed on the basis that the board too narrowly defined "place of worship" and noted that its previous property in NEW ALBANY had been eligible for an exemption; in addition, the station's FCC license is for commercial broadcasting.
But in oral arguments in the present appeal, OHIO Assistant Attorney General DANIEL KIM said that the station's business model is now 2/3 advertiser-supported, making the station "a commercial enterprise." WCVO attorney BRIAN ZETS responded that "Christian radio is public worship" and likened selling ads on the station to selling ads in a church bulletin.