Broward News

Benzaiten Center, Lake Worth Arts Project, Played Tax Status Puffery with Public [UPDATED]

Misrepresenting your tax exempt status when dealing with the public and public officials? Not cool. Having the IRS make whole your puffery after the fact? Priceless. Just ask the folks at the Living Arts Foundation -- the Florida non-profit that is sponsoring the Benzaiten Center for the Arts, a $1.75 million project that inked a contract earlier this week with the City of Lake Worth.

The Benzaiten sounds terrific: Take an abandoned beer warehouse by the FEC railroad tracks on the city's struggling west side and turn it into 22,000 square feet of exhibition and work space for sculptors, ceramicists and glassblowers. Living Arts Foundation founder JoAnne Berkow described it to Lake Worth city officials as "one of Florida's most innovative arts development, economic development, and community development projects."

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