Tennessee Court of Appeals Rules on Materials Incorporated into Churches

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that a taxpayer’s purchase of raw materials that were fabricated into steel products and later installed into churches were not entitled to a sales tax exemption. The court found that the materials were purchased and used in the fulfillment of a contract and did not qualify for a resale exemption on the materials. The issue did not revolve around the church’s status, but the installation of tangible personal property when making improvements to realty. The court stated that previous cases (Pidgeon-Thomas Iron Co. v. Garner 1973 and Tenn. Blacktop, Inc. v. Benson 1973) had addressed similar issues. In these cases, the courts ruled that the contractors were consumers of the materials used in the contracts and not sellers of the goods used to fulfill the contracts. Based on the law and the previous rulings, the decision that the contractor was responsible for the tax was upheld. (Wyllie Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Johnson, Tennessee Court of Appeals, No. M2003-0248-COA-R3-CV, April 28, 2005)

Posted on November 21, 2005