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Fredrikson attorneys successfully represented Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota in a case before The Minnesota Tax Court. At issue in the case was whether our client’s property, a Goodwill thrift store located in Washington County, Minnesota, should be taxed like any other for-profit retail store (the county’s argument) or whether the property qualified for an exemption as an institution of purely public charity/501c3 nonprofit organization (Fredrikson’s position). 

Our attorneys built a detailed trial record showing how the store matched Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s charitable objectives in two ways: through its career and training resources that are free for people experiencing barriers to work and independence, and through its operational efforts to reduce waste and achieve environmental sustainability, diverting more than 65 million pounds from Minnesota’s landfills annually. Contrary to the county’s arguments, the court found that both initiatives alleviated government burdens. The court added that the county’s argument that Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota operates as any other for-profit retail store was unsupported and did not defeat evidence presented by the organization showing that it meets the statutory requirements for exempt status.

Accordingly, the court concluded that the store should be refunded property taxes paid in 2020 and 2021 as the organization qualified for a charitable exemption.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota was represented by Fredrikson attorneys Judy Engel and Gauri Samant.

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