Are Federal Subsidies Considered Donations In Determining Whether a Housing Facility Is Entitled to a Property Exemption ?

In Housing Southwest, Inc. v. Washington County, 128 Idaho 335, 913 P.2d 68 (Idaho 1996), the Supreme Court of Idaho disallowed a tax exemption and held that Housing Southwest was not providing a charitable function because the Farm Home Administration had provided the construction loan for the construction of the six-unit low-income housing facility for senior citizens and disabled persons and was also providing subsidies for their rent. The Court focused on whether the housing facility was supported by donations and stated that outside donations were an important charitable factor because "they reduce the cost to the general public of the service being provided." Id. at 71. It went on to state that federal subsidies were not donations in determining whether Housing Southwest was entitled to a property tax exemption. For other cases also holding that federal subsidies are not donations, see Clark v. Marian Park, Inc., Ill. App. 3d 1010, 80 Ill. App. 3d 1010, 400 N.E.2d 661, 36 Ill. Dec. 241 (1980); and Parker v. Saint Stephen's Urban Development Corporation, 243 N.J. Super. 317, 579 A.2d 360 (N.J. Super. 1990).