Churches Can't Use Taxpayer Dollars, Rules New Jersey Supreme Court

April 26, 2018 AT 9:30 AM

A New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday found the use of taxpayer dollars to restore historic churches unconstitutional — and preservationists in North Jersey say the decision could strike a blow in communities where historic churches exist.

The court ruled that Morris County's long-standing practice of giving taxpayer-funded historic preservation grants to churches, totaling $4.6 million in public aid, violated the New Jersey Constitution. The ruling reversed a lower court decision and precludes churches from benefiting from the grant program.

It means churches in New Jersey will now have to look elsewhere for funding to restore or repair buildings.

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