The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
James Huntsman, son of the late billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr. and brother of former Utah governor and U.S. presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr., filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday seeking to have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints return more than $5 million in tithing he gave the church over a quarter of a century.
Huntsman, 50, who runs a California film distribution company, stopped paying tithing in 2017, according to the suit, and began to seek the return of previous donations after a 2019 report that a former employee for the church’s investment arm had filed an IRS complaint alleging the church should be forced to pay taxes on returns made from invested tithing funds.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins called Huntsman’s claims “baseless.”
“Mr. James Huntsman resigned his church membership last year,” Hawkins said in a statement provided to the Deseret News. “Now, he is demanding through his lawyers that tithing he paid to the church as charitable contributions be returned to him. He claims that, contrary to assurances made by past church President Gordon B. Hinckley, the church used tithing to build City Creek, a mixed-use commercial development across the street from church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
“In fact, tithing was not used on the City Creek project. As President Hinckley said in the April 2003 general conference of the church, the funds came from ‘commercial entities owned by the church’ and the ‘earnings of invested reserve funds.’ A similar statement was made by President Hinckley in the October 2004 general conference. Mr. James Huntsman’s claim is baseless.”
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