15 Million Dollar Thought Tax

money.jpgTaxing the Church to Feed the State

In what amounts to a free speech fine reminiscent of a scene out of Robin Hood,  San Francisco City government is assessing a 15 million dollar tax on a tax exempt church.  This thinly veiled retaliatory move for church involvement in the passing of proposition 8 is outrageous and clearly steps over the line in the separation of church and state.

Government has no say in church affairs, including what morality gets preached or how church officials and their parishioners vote.  It doesn’t matter how unpopular the prop 8 vote was in San Francisco, government tax agencies can not be used as weapons to beat churches into submission, or cow them into silence.

Noam Chomsky said: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favour of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

Separation of church and state is just that, freedom for the church to speak and act independently from government authority,  and free from reprisal.  This action by San Francisco City to quash the free exercise of speech and religion smacks of intimidation and corruption at City Hall.

Is the economy so bad, are budget issues so dire that we have to raid the donation coffers of the local parish, Mayor?

—Beetle Blogger

San Francisco Set to Tax Catholic Church Millions in Suspected Prop 8 Retaliation

By Kathleen Gilbert

SAN FRANCISCO, January 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A San Francisco assessor has called for the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco to hand over $15 million in taxes because of an internal restructuring of the archdiocese, a move that some are describing as “retaliation” for the Church’s opposition to Proposition 8.

Assessor Phil Ting concluded that the Catholic Church owed the city taxes after the archdiocese was restructured and its property, which is almost all used by parish facilities, was consolidated seven months ago.

Ting claimed that because the restructuring involved “separate legal entities,” it was “not just a cosmetic” change and therefore liable to be taxed.

The archdiocese immediately filed legal action and questioned the precedent for Ting’s decision.

“San Francisco Recorder Phil Ting has taken a step that is unprecedented in the history of the state of California. He has determined that an internal reorganization of church property, within the family of corporations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, constitutes a ‘sale’ and is subject to a property transfer tax,” archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“A tax on transfers of property, all owned by the Catholic Church, within the same family of Archdiocesan corporations, is unprecedented in the history of the state of California and the law is overwhelmingly in our favor on this subject,” said Healy.

Many are decrying the move as retaliation for the church’s support of California’s same-sex “marriage” ban, as pro-homosexual “marriage” San Francisco residents and politicians have made no secret of their ire at the Catholic Church and other religious groups for supporting Proposition 8.

See full story here

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10 Comments

  1. Euripides said,

    January 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    But there is no gay agenda. Right. This is despicable politics.

  2. Liberty Belle said,

    January 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    It looks like a shady deal alright. Say they’re taxing them for this UNPRECEDENTED reason, and the fact that it’s only two months after the election has nothing to do with it. This transaction happened six or eight months ago, why didn’t they tax it then?

  3. Raytmimer said,

    January 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Why is Christianity such a threat?

  4. MIMI said,

    January 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Wow, 15 Million dollars is a lot for a tax. That must be some really angry guy up there.

  5. beetlebabee said,

    January 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    “That must be some really angry guy up there. “

    That would be the Honorable Sheriff of Nottingha…..I mean SF Assessor Phil Ting. Where’s Robin Hood when you need him??

  6. Rick said,

    January 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Are any other churches in the area being treated this way? I wonder if there is a lot more to the story that we don’t know yet. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  7. Pearl said,

    January 21, 2009 at 1:25 am

    The fact that this move is unprecedented in California history truly suggests some ulterior motive. Especially since it arrives on the wings of the Proposition 8 victory championed by a coalition of churches including the Catholic Church. Something smells fishy here!

  8. MIMI said,

    January 21, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Well they’ve got lawyers involved, I bet it’ll fall on the side of the church but at what legal expense and trouble? It’s obviously not right, two entities sharing the same tax exempt status moving a title from one to the other? It should be a non issue. It just has all the marks of a “shot across the bow” or some intimidation thing. Hello Mafia.

  9. Raytmimer said,

    January 21, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Liberty, good point about timing. Well it doesn’t hurt that this guy is looking at running for office in the near future. Perhaps he’s buying some favors in political circles by persecuting the thorn in the side of the gay lobby.

    No more mr. nice gay right?

  10. busywithconviction said,

    January 21, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I was just starting to think things were settling down here in California in regards to the whole gay marriage thing and heating up elsewhere. Nope!

    Whatever the motives are I find the whole thing to be rather sad. Who ever thought we would question whether we had religious freedom or not?


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