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Louisiana State Univ.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Florida Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Religious Books Sales Tax Exemption Appeal

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from the Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida, challenging the constitutionality of a Florida statute that exempts it from payment of sales and use tax for Bibles but not for items such as the Satanic Bible. The lower court ruled that Wiccan did not have standing to challenge the law. "In the instant case, Wiccan's constitutional challenge is that, based on the reasoning found in Texas Monthly, the Florida sales tax exemption benefits religion. The parties have stipulated that Wicca is a religion. Therefore, under Wiccan's argument that the tax exemption benefits religion, Wiccan, as a religious organization, benefits from the sales tax exemption. Accordingly, Wiccan fails to have the adverse interest necessary for standing and is not the proper party to assert the instant constitutional challenge." See Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida v. Zingale, 898 So. 2d 134 (C.A. Fla., 1st Dist., (2005)). Read more here. The ACLU filed a similar suit on November 16 on behalf of the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore and the Georgia Library Association. Read more here.

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