June 25, 2011; Source: Post-Tribune | It seems the only thing preventing work on a museum and performing arts center to honor Michael Jackson in his hometown of Gary, Ind., is some paperwork. According to the Post-Tribune, city officials are waiting for proof from the Jackson Family Foundation that it has received its nonprofit status from the IRS. Under a deal struck last year, the city will give the foundation five parcels of land for the planned Michael Jackson Performing Arts Center and Jackson Family Institute. Since then, the city has been waiting for the proper paperwork and has extended the deadline several times. But instead of documentation concerning the tax status of the Jackson Family Foundation, the newspaper reports city attorney Susan Severtson received a photocopy of IRS documents from a different group — the Jackson Family Heritage Foundation — showing that it is a tax-exempt nonprofit. Said Severtson, “We’re trying to figure out what is this (Jackson Family Heritage Foundation) and their purpose.” Initially announced with great fanfare, the project is now beginning to lose some luster and even causing Gary Mayor Rudy Clay some doubts. Speaking on the record, Clay said, “Quite naturally, I would like to see it move faster," but quoting an anonymous source, the newspaper reports the mayor is growing very impatient and is "fed up" with Jackson Family Foundation President Simon Sahouri. —Bruce S. Trachtenberg
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