Articles Posted in Non-Profit Corporations

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Detroit Medical Center consists of several not-for-profit hospitals incorporated under Michigan law. The Center overpaid its taxes, entitling it to a refund plus interest. Under the Internal Revenue Code, “corporations” receive lower interest rates on such refunds (the federal short-term interest rate plus as little as 0.5%) than other taxpayers (the federal short-term interest rate plus 3%), 26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(1). The IRS rejected the Center’s claim that, as a not-for-profit corporation, it should not be treated as a corporation and should be eligible for the higher interest rate, increasing its refund by $9.1 million. The district court and Sixth Circuit affirmed, reasoning that a nonprofit entity incorporated under state law amounts to a corporation, and that the Code contains no indication to the contrary. View "United States v. Detroit Medical Center" on Justia Law

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The Authority was formed under Ga. Code 46-4-82(a) to provide member municipalities with natural gas. It operates as a non-profit, distributing profits and losses to member municipalities: 64 in Georgia, two in Tennessee, 12 in other states. It pays its own operating expenses and judgments; it is exempt from state laws on financing and investment for state entities and has discretion over accumulation, investment, and management of its funds. It sets its governance rules; members elect leaders from among member municipalities. Smyrna, Tennessee has obtained gas from the Authority since 2000, using a pipeline that does not run through Georgia. The Authority entered a multi-year “hedge” contract for gas acquisition, setting price and volume through 2014, and passed the costs on. The market price of natural gas then fell due to increased hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but Smyrna was still paying the higher price. Smyrna sued for breach of contract, violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. The district court denied the Authority’s motion to dismiss based on sovereign immunity under Georgia law and the Eleventh Amendment. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, stating that the Authority’s claim that any entity referred to as a state “instrumentality” in a Georgia statute is entitled to state-law sovereign immunity “requires quite a stretch of the imagination.” View "Town of Smyrna, TN v. Mun. Gas Auth. of GA" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff is a non-profit, member-owned, water company serving rural areas of Ross County, Ohio. To finance its system, plaintiff borrowed nearly $10.6 million from the USDA. The disputed area of the county includes properties served by the city and properties served by plaintiff. Each has objected to the other's extension of new lines to the area. The district court granted plaintiff summary judgment, finding that the company is protected under the Agriculture Act, 7 U.S.C. 1926(b)(2), based on its obligations under the USDA contract, had a legal right to serve the area under a contract with the county, and did not have unclean hands. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.