River Radio Ministries Christian AC “104.9 The River” WCVO Gahanna/Columbus OH is battling the state of Ohio over whether it owes real-estate taxes.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals repealed WCVO’s tax-exempt status in 2008 because the station’s offices/studios are not a “place of worship”. State Assistant Attorney General Daniel Kim argued in court that only one third of the station’s revenue comes from contributions with the rest coming from advertising making it a commercial business. WCVO’s attorney countered that “Christian radio is public worship” and that commercial advertising is “no different than a traditional church selling advertising space in the weekly bulletin.”
WCVO is licensed as a commercial station, however River Radio Ministries also owns two non-commercial stations: 89.3 WZCP Chillicothe and 89.3 WZNP Newark OH. The license of WCVO was applied to be transferred to One Connection Media Group in September in a pro-forma transaction. River Radio Ministries President Dan Baughman will be CEO and sole director of the new licensee when the deal closes.