Acupuncture Tax Fight Headed To High Court

Oct 4, 2019

A legal battle about a property-tax exemption for a Gainesville acupuncture school is headed to the Florida Supreme Court. 

Academy for Five Element Acupuncture, Inc. filed a notice this week that is a first step in asking the Supreme Court to take up the dispute with Alachua County Property Appraiser Ed Crapo, according to the 1st District Court of Appeal website.

The Tallahassee-based appeals court in July sided with Crapo, who in 2014 rejected a property-tax exemption for Academy for Five Element Acupuncture because he said it did not meet the legal definition of an educational institution for exemption purposes.

Part of the court’s majority opinion said the tax code links the definition of educational institutions to membership or credentialing by the Florida Department of Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or the Florida Council of Independent Schools.

The majority said the academy met licensing requirements of the Florida Commission for Independent Schools. The commission is administratively housed at the Department of Education, but the court said that does not mean the academy meets the legal test for the tax exemption.

As is common, the notice filed this week did not detail the arguments the school will make at the Supreme Court.