Catholic University law school Professor Roger Colinvaux, one the nation’s leading experts on tax law as it relates to charitable organizations, testified in in D.C. Superior Court on Dec. 11 in a dispute that involves one the city’s most beloved institutions.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, for 20 years a fixture in downtown Washington, has sued its landlord over an attempted 700 percent rent hike. The company argues that its original lease with the nonprofit group Lansburgh Theatre Inc. (LTI) and building owner Graham Gund cannot be reworked now, since the first agreement stipulated that LTI was a support organization intended to assist The Shakespeare Theatre Company indefinitely.
The landlords disagree and have threatened to evict the well-known theater company from its home.
“I testified as to the tax issues which are at the center of the case - regarding the landlord's status as a section 501(c)(3) ‘supporting organization’ to the Shakespeare Theatre,” said Colinvaux. “The litigation continues in January.”
The two sides remain at a standoff. In a preliminary injunction on Dec. 12, the D.C. Superior Court barred the landlords from raising rent or "taking any action to interfere with Shakespeare Theatre Company's occupancy" of the downtown theater house.
More information can be found in these two articles:
Washington Post, Dec. 3
Washington City Paper, Dec. 12