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Taxing Religion
Posted: 12 March 2013 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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In California church property including the churches themselves are subject to Real Estate Tax.  The church building itself gets some sort of exemption, but they still pay a fair amount of tax.

Occam


Wouldn’t this status then put them in some sort of political no-man’s land? If they pay taxes could they then legitimately become involved in the political arena? You know, Shuler’s crystal palace? I know it’s bankrupt now but prior to that.


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Posted: 12 March 2013 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I don’t know how they structure it, but I think they don’t tax the religious factors, i.e.. the church itself, but just ancillary buildings.  Possibly you’re right that they could support political candidates and causes, just not done in the sanctuary.  Let’s not tell them.  LOL

But they can rent out the church for weddings and other meetings.  The local Democratic club often rents the Unitarian church if they have a program that will attract more people than the library meeting room will hold.  I’m pretty sure the UUs declare that as income and pay tax on it.

Occam

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Posted: 12 March 2013 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Driving through Buffalo I see monstrous RC churches with many buildings, now vacant. Others close to shutting down but maybe staying open a couple hours a week to avoid the tax status change that occurs when they close.
If paying the same tax as other businesses would cause them to close, so be it.
I do not think any of these defunct properties will ever sell for their “book value.” Some could be turned into mini-Disneylands, complete with actors dressed as religious fantasy characters.
Should not the heading of this thread be “Taxing church properties”?

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Posted: 12 March 2013 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Occam. - 12 March 2013 11:00 AM

In California church property including the churches themselves are subject to Real Estate Tax.  The church building itself gets some sort of exemption, but they still pay a fair amount of tax.

Occam

But not nearly enough. They’re getting far more than they’re paying for, and in a country that claims to have separation of church and state,  it’s outright hypocrisy.

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