The Alliance Defense Fund, a group that litigates on behalf of religious organizations, sued for two churches which argued that the fee is nothing more than a tax with a contrived name. So, really, they said, Mission was taxing the churches, which are tax-exempt under state law, for having people come worship. The Star reports that the city council has at last been swayed, and churches will be exempted from the fee is the ADF drops its suit. The paper said that First Baptist Church of Mission and St. Pius X would have to cough up $970.77 and $1,685.19 respectively.
Everybody else in Mission will still have to chip in to the road repair fund, which the city says will average $72 per house. The fee takes effect October 10.