Cowles and Thompson Shareholders Mike Northrup and Sim Israeloff successfully defended on appeal a judgment in favor of our client. The appealed judgment declared that a nonprofit Housing Finance Corporation’s property was exempt from property taxes as a matter of law.
Housing Finance Corporations are created by cities or other local governments to develop affordable, safe, and sanitary housing for persons of low and moderate incomes.
Collin County Appraisal District denied a property tax exemption to the Garland Housing Finance Corporation, which owns a low-to moderate-income senior housing project in Collin County. The appraisal district asserted that no tax exemption applied unless the City of Plano had expressly approved the exemption. The trial court agreed that Garland Housing Finance Corporation was entitled to the exemption.
The court of appeals upheld the exemption after construing the Housing Finance Corporation Act, which provides that a housing finance corporation’s own rules, resolutions relating to the issuance of bonds or financing documents control whether the exemption applies. Because Garland Housing Finance Corporation’s documents did not disqualify the project for the state-mandated exemption, the Act was applicable and the corporation was entitled to the exemption.