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Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


A small step in the right direction ...

Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches

No more religious exemptions, Montreal is taxing churches: For the first time churches in Montreal are being forced to pay taxes, and some church leaders are very unhappy.

CTV Montreal reports that churches and church space not being used explicitly for the purpose of worship is now taxable property, and is to be treated as any other property as far as taxes are concerned.

quote:

As one might expect, those benefitting from the tax exempt status enjoyed by churches are not happy. Again, CTV Montreal reports:

Joel Coppetiers, the Minister at the Cote des Neiges Presbyterian church, was shocked when his institution first received a municipal tax bill…

“The indication is there’s not an exemption for the church as a whole, there’s only an exemption for those areas used for public worship and things directly related to it,” said Coppetiers.



And while some of those that benefit from the tax exempt status previously enjoyed by churches in Montreal are unhappy with the changes, others are celebrating the small step towards a more just and fair tax structure.

Indeed, subsidizing tax-exempt churches costs taxpayers money, a great deal of money.

For example, a recent report from the Secular Policy Institute shows that tax exempt churches cost U.S. taxpayers $71 billion every year.

Among the report’s findings: Each year religious groups receive $35.3 billion in federal income tax subsidies and $26.2 billion property tax subsidies. In addition, religious organizations also enjoyed approximately $6.1 billion in state income tax subsidies, along with $1.2 billion of parsonage, and $2.2 billion in the faith-based initiatives subsidy.

Discussing the problem with tax exempt churches, Bill Maher makes a powerful case for ending tax exempt status for religious institutions, noting:

quote:

Why, in heaven’s name, don’t we tax religion? A sexist, homophobic magic act that’s been used to justify everything from genital mutilation to genocide. You want to raise the tax on tobacco so kids don’t get cancer, OK. But let’s put one on Sunday school so they don’t get stupid.




Maher’s right. We should tax the church. There is no reason why the non-religious should subsidize religious superstition.

Perhaps more important, tax exemptions for churches violate the separation of church and state enshrined in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Bottom line: Montreal is getting it right. Taxpayers should not be in the business of subsidizing religious superstition. It’s time to tax the church.

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5/17/2017, 3:03 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


I don't know. I don't like religions very much, but taxing them seems potentially a way to discriminate and harm them?
5/17/2017, 3:43 pm Link to this post PM Rigby5
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Drive them out, tax them as anyone and see how well that does. I suspect some will survive, some will not while many will develop further in the poverty level as people slow giving to a taxable institution.
5/17/2017, 4:54 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


 bad idea.

 being against religion should have nothing to do with helping those in need. Like it or not that is what most churches do, shelter those in need. spiritually, financially as well as feed and supply basic needs for the less fortunate

the government shouldn't be taking from them.

Last edited by snowpixie, 5/17/2017, 7:09 pm
5/17/2017, 7:05 pm Link to this post PM snowpixie Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Too late.
5/17/2017, 7:56 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Take note...

CTV Montreal reports that churches and church space not being used explicitly for the purpose of worship is now taxable property, and is to be treated as any other property as far as taxes are concerned.



---
It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses. William Arthur Ward
5/17/2017, 7:58 pm Link to this post PM John1959 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


So as noted the money they would have spent on feeding and caring for those less fortunate will be sent to the government NOT the needy.
5/17/2017, 8:00 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Definitely about time - they should be taxed like any business - income less expenses (including all charitable expenses).

Fact is, the bulk of their income does not go to charitable work (including help to the poor). According to this article

[sign in to see URL]

"the Mormon Church, for example, spends roughly .7% of its annual income on charity. Their study of 271 congregations found an average of 71% of revenues going to ‘operating expenses,’ while help to the poor is somewhere within the remaining 29%. Compare this to the American Red Cross, which uses 92.1% of revenues for physical assistance and just 7.9% on operating expenses. The authors also note that Wal-Mart, for instance, gives about $[sign in to see URL] billion in food aid to charities each year, or twenty-eight times all of the money allotted for charity by the United Methodist Church and almost double what the LDS Church has given in the last twenty-five years."

And from this article

[sign in to see URL]

"For those individuals who argue that religions should receive subsidies because of their charitable work, there is an easy solution for that problem. If religions want to engage in charitable work, they should separate religious activities and finances from their charitable activities and finances. The charities run by religions could be tax-exempt, but the religious organizations would be treated like civic leagues or sports clubs or any other volunteer organization that exists for entertainment or the benefit of its members. Those groups are not tax-exempt and are not subsidized by the government. It is clear that these organizations are not as charitable as the image they project."


5/17/2017, 10:14 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


It is so sad to see shiftless get the numbers out of context:

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The church does not classify the moneys spent in other than direct aid as charity where they supply, feed and pay a stipend to those working relief agency actions. There are other aspects.
5/17/2017, 10:45 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

cooter50 wrote:

It is so sad to see shiftless get the numbers out of context:

[sign in to see URL]

The church does not classify the moneys spent in other than direct aid as charity where they supply, feed and pay a stipend to those working relief agency actions. There are other aspects.



If you read the article that quote came from you'd see that the expenses you're referring to are buried in that 29%

"Their study of 271 congregations found an average of 71% of revenues going to ‘operating expenses,’ while help to the poor is somewhere within the remaining 29%"

Meanwhile the Red Cross uses 92% of its revenues for physical assistance. emoticon
5/17/2017, 11:19 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Seems to me that the only tax churches are exempt from that other charities are not, is property tax?
5/19/2017, 4:07 am Link to this post PM Rigby5
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

shiftless2 wrote:

quote:

cooter50 wrote:

It is so sad to see shiftless get the numbers out of context:

[sign in to see URL]

The church does not classify the moneys spent in other than direct aid as charity where they supply, feed and pay a stipend to those working relief agency actions. There are other aspects.



If you read the article that quote came from you'd see that the expenses you're referring to are buried in that 29%

"Their study of 271 congregations found an average of 71% of revenues going to ‘operating expenses,’ while help to the poor is somewhere within the remaining 29%"

Meanwhile the Red Cross uses 92% of its revenues for physical assistance. emoticon



IS REPORTED by Red Cross to use 92% for the physical assistance. They claim EVERY deductible expense they can wriggle into and twist to fit UNLIKE some of the churches that choose to NOT take potentially dishonest reductions. As I remember in St. Louis news the RC gets special dispensation for all of the structures and employment expenses as well any materials they use or disperse including gifts are removed from taxability.
5/19/2017, 2:27 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

cooter50 wrote:

As I remember in St. Louis news the RC gets special dispensation for all of the structures and employment expenses as well any materials they use or disperse including gifts are removed from taxability.



That is no different from any other business. It's not a "special dispensation" - if it is, please provide a link for that.

BTW - you statement that churches "choose not to take potentially dishonest reductions [sic]" makes no sense whatsoever. Churches don't have to pay taxes - they don't file so they don't have to claim any deductions.
5/19/2017, 2:33 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Really? Does Emerson or GE get release from Property taxes on their parking facilities? Or from paying employees? How is it a church cannot then?
5/19/2017, 2:39 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


All in all why shouldn't they pay taxes? If they can prove they are doing a lot of good for the needy with the money they have they could get some of their tax dollars back.

---
--------------------------------------------------------------
"libido sciendi"..... the passion to know.
5/19/2017, 8:30 pm Link to this post PM Noserose
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


When Scientology became a religious faith along with a few dozen other so called religions/faiths along the decades, I thought enough was enough. Either that or I'll start a church.
5/20/2017, 1:23 am Link to this post PM katie5445 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

cooter50 wrote:

Really? Does Emerson or GE get release from Property taxes on their parking facilities? Or from paying employees? How is it a church cannot then?



Emerson and GE do not get a release [sic] on their property taxes for their parking facilities.

What part of "a church doesn't pay income tax" don't you understand? If they don't pay tax on their income they don't have to deduct anything.

5/20/2017, 11:07 am Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

Noserose wrote:

All in all why shouldn't they pay taxes? If they can prove they are doing a lot of good for the needy with the money they have they could get some of their tax dollars back.



If they were taxed like any other business they'd only pay taxes on their net income (i.e., revenues less expenses) and those expenses would include charitable donations, money spent helping the poor, operating costs (salary, electricity, and the like).

And of course, property taxes which everyone else has to pay.
5/20/2017, 11:10 am Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


[Be ordained by the slowest growing religion in America.]

[sign in to see URL]

Dudeists of the World Unite!

Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism. An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.

First, you might want to
 Get ordained as a Dudeist priest. There are nearly 450,000 worldwide.





---
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5/20/2017, 11:36 am Link to this post PM Noserose
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


rose, not to worry - the young are turning away from religion in droves.

[url][sign in to see URL]
5/20/2017, 11:39 am Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


The power to tax is the power to destroy. And that's the ultimate goal of many of the proponents of taxing churches.
5/20/2017, 2:38 pm Link to this post PM gopqed Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


{...
Jediism (or Jedism[1]) is a philosophy[2] mainly based on the depiction of the Jedi characters in Star Wars media.[3] Jediism attracted public attention in 2001 when a number of people recorded their religion as "Jedi" on national censuses.

Jediism is inspired by elements of Star Wars, namely the fictional religion of the Jedi. Early websites dedicated to bringing up a belief system from the Star Wars films were "The Jedi Religion and regulations" and "Jediism". These websites cited the Jedi code, consisting of 21 maxims, as the starting point for a "real Jedi" belief system.[4] The real-world Jediism movement has no founder or central structure.[5]
...
Although followers of Jediism acknowledge the influence of Star Wars on their religion, by following the moral and spiritual codes demonstrated by the fictional Jedi,[6] they also insist their path is different from that of the fictional characters and that Jediism does not focus on the myth and fiction found in Star Wars.[7] The Jedi follow the "16 teachings" based on the presentation of the fictional Jedi, such as "Jedi are mindful of the negative emotions which lead to the Dark Side" and "Jedi are guardians of peace and justice".[8] Adherents also follow "21 maxims".[4][9]
...}
5/20/2017, 2:49 pm Link to this post PM Rigby5
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

gopqed wrote:

The power to tax is the power to destroy. And that's the ultimate goal of many of the proponents of taxing churches.



So tell us, why should churches get away without paying any taxes while benefiting from the same public services as the rest of the populace? And they do stray into the political realm (fact is, Trump's executive order lets them become even more political).
5/20/2017, 2:52 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Why don't you tell us why you're only targeting churches and not all non-profit organizations who enjoy the same tax-exempt status? I think it's because my earlier statement was spot-on.
5/20/2017, 3:55 pm Link to this post PM gopqed Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

gopqed wrote:

The power to tax is the power to destroy. And that's the ultimate goal of many of the proponents of taxing churches.



If taxation doesn't destroy poor people whom it sometimes makes homeless, I suspect churches can tolerate it.
5/20/2017, 4:11 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

gopqed wrote:

Why don't you tell us why you're only targeting churches and not all non-profit organizations who enjoy the same tax-exempt status? I think it's because my earlier statement was spot-on.



Because this thread is only about taxing churches. And the religious activities of a church (as distinct from the charitable ones) are more akin to those of a social club or sporting league than a non-profit.

If you actually click thru to the ]Secular Policy Institute report you'd see this suggestion:

=====================================
For those individuals who argue that religions should receive subsidies because of their charitable work, there is an easy solution for that problem. If religions want to engage in charitable work, they should separate religious activities and finances from their charitable activities and finances. The charities run by religions could be tax-exempt, but the religious organizations would be treated like civic leagues or sports clubs or any other volunteer organization that exists for entertainment or the benefit of its members. Those groups are not tax-exempt and are not subsidized by the government. It is clear that these organizations are not as charitable as the image they project.
================================
5/21/2017, 4:20 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


Is it JUST churches or all designated non-profit groups holding property? To do one while ignoring others is biased and discriminatory.
5/21/2017, 4:24 pm Link to this post PM cooter50 Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


I'm not suggesting that they deserve tax exemption because of their charitable work. It's important for them to be free of taxation so the government can't influence and control religious activities (one aspect of separation of church and state.) And your dodge only reinforces that you're opposed to churches and want to use taxation to provide the government control over(maybe destroy) religious activities and organizations.
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


I'm very pro churches paying taxes. Too many of these store front religions are run by nothing but money hungry crooks that help no one, but themselves.
5/21/2017, 4:54 pm Link to this post PM msdulittle Blog
 
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Re: Good News: Montreal Is Taxing Churches


quote:

cooter50 wrote:

Is it JUST churches or all designated non-profit groups holding property? To do one while ignoring others is biased and discriminatory.



Take that one up with Montreal. But I'd expect that if it's only churches there's a Charter case there so I'd expect the city's lawyers would have been all over it.
5/21/2017, 5:09 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 


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