Suit was filed this week in a Texas state trial court by a church challenging a Houston-area utility district’s insistence that the church pay a capital recovery fee of $83,780 rather than the actual cost of $24,900 to connect its new office building and auditorium to the district’s water system. The district insists that the added fee “prevents taxpayers from bearing the burden of paying taxes on the bonds issued to construct water, sewer, and drainage facilities that also serve the Church.” The complaint (full text) in Grace Community Church- The Woodlands, Inc. v. Southern Montgomery County Municipal Utility District, (TX Dist. Ct., filed 11/15/2023), alleges that the fee in excess of the actual cost of the connection amounts to an unlawful tax on a tax-exempt organization. It also contends that the fee violates the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment’s free exercise clause. First Liberty issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.