Organization Failed Exempt Purpose
In Miss Dig System, Inc. v. City of Auburn Hills, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 303059, May 10, 2012, a nonprofit organization that operated a one call center that received calls from anyone who planned to commence underground excavation within Michigan was not entitled to a charitable institution property tax exemption because the organization's activities did not qualify as charitable. The organization's basic purpose did not reflect an institution that was organized solely or chiefly for charity because the organization did not relay the excavation information it received through its one call center to the underground facilities owners free of charge. Although the organization provided service to any person who wished to excavate in Michigan, it did not provide a benefit to an indefinite number of people. Instead, it was only paying utility members and participants who received the excavation information given to the organization through its one call center and, therefore, the benefit of the one call center was limited to a definite number of people. Additionally, the organization's financial records revealed that it usually had a surplus at the end of each fiscal year, which suggested that it charged more than what was needed for its successful maintenance.