Scientology Church Pays Delinquent Taxes

Los Angeles Independent, July 31, 2003
http://www.laindependent.com/
By KEVIN BUTLER, The Independent Staff

The Church of Scientology on July 18 paid more than $94,000 in delinquent property taxes on four of its Hollywood properties, including tens of thousands to the local business improvement district.

The Independent reported the day before that the church — one of the largest property owners in Hollywood — had failed to pay $94,625 for the fiscal year that ended June 30 on its properties, including $41,227 to the Hollywood Entertainment District.

A Church of Scientology spokesperson said the nonprofit was in the process of paying off the amounts when The Independent’s story was published.

“The payment was in the works and this happens to coincide with your article,” said spokeswoman Linda Simmons Hight.

The Independent gave undue attention to the back taxes, she said.

“It’s really a non-issue,” she said. “I can’t think of anything of less interest to the Hollywood community than when somebody is going to pay their property taxes. I know it’s of great interest to the [business improvement district], but that really isn’t of general interest.”

The recent delinquency marks the second time in recent years that the church was late on a large sum of taxes.

Last year, The Independent reported that the church owed back taxes in the millions of dollars and was in danger of having at least one of its properties, at Hollywood Boulevard and McCadden Place, seized by the county.

The church had decided not to pay those millions of taxes because it was still seeking tax exemptions from the county, Hight said.

The church paid off those back taxes last year and, with their most recent payment, is no longer in arrears for taxes it owed.

The Hollywood Entertainment District had counted on receiving money from the Church of Scientology this year to fund services like street cleaning, security patrols and graffiti removal.

The church, whose members include several celebrities, had owed about $31,200 in total taxes on its 6331 Hollywood Blvd. property, $41,700 on its 6349 Hollywood Blvd. property, $4,800 on its 1715 Ivar Street property and $16,700 on its 6724 Hollywood Blvd. property.

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