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  #21  
Old 09-05-2012, 12:41 AM
protege protege is offline
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Originally Posted by Rapscallion View Post
I'm also easily amused.
Very true

But, I've always said that if the churches want to interfere in politics...they have to pay like everyone else.

Plus, not all communities can handle having properties taken off the tax rolls by churches, their related schools and parking lots. Does the church benefit from things as parks nearby? What about police departments? Roads? Sewer and water systems? Many, if not all of those things are paid with taxes. Yet, because the church is exempt, they're not paying their share.
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  #22  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:26 AM
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Rapscallion Rapscallion is offline
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That's actually a good point. If someone breaks into a church, are the police required to attend simply because the church hasn't paid into the system?

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  #23  
Old 09-06-2012, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rapscallion View Post
If someone breaks into a church, are the police required to attend simply because the church hasn't paid into the system?
I don't know if they're "required" to show up. But, if they don't, people will bitch about it.
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  #24  
Old 09-06-2012, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rapscallion View Post
That's actually a good point. If someone breaks into a church, are the police required to attend simply because the church hasn't paid into the system?
They are as required to attend as they are any other non-profit or any other tax-excempt organization on American soil. Whether it's March of Dimes, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the United Way, or Boy Scouts of America.

To be frank, I find it rather disturbing and on some level disgusting that one is suggesting that it's just to refuse services to an organization simply because they are, by statute, exempt from taxes.
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  #25  
Old 09-06-2012, 05:04 AM
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I find it disturbing that an organisation able to pay a share of the communal upkeep should be granted a special licence not to do so and yet still benefit.

I know there are people who will speak of the evils of socialism and protest that they shouldn't pay for someone else's benefits, but a proper society will only tax those who have the income to be able to pay a fair share. Here we're dealing with elitism - a church with a huge income won't pay any taxes on that, but require substantial upkeep in the form of roads, police and fire protection etc. Actually, taking out without paying in is pretty much the definition of being a parasitic organism.

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  #26  
Old 09-06-2012, 05:01 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Originally Posted by Rapscallion View Post
I find it disturbing that an organisation able to pay a share of the communal upkeep should be granted a special licence not to do so and yet still benefit.

I know there are people who will speak of the evils of socialism and protest that they shouldn't pay for someone else's benefits, but a proper society will only tax those who have the income to be able to pay a fair share. Here we're dealing with elitism - a church with a huge income won't pay any taxes on that, but require substantial upkeep in the form of roads, police and fire protection etc. Actually, taking out without paying in is pretty much the definition of being a parasitic organism.
I agree that "for-profit" churches should be taxed, but that doesn't mean, because they are legally exempt now, if someone has a heart attack in a church they should be denied paramedics, or if someone robbed a church they should be denied a police investigation. That would have an effect, for sure, but it wouldn't be a good effect at all.
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  #27  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:20 PM
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The person needing a paramedic would be covered by their health insurance - over here the NHS, over there the health care provider of their choice. Not really a good principle to invoke.

Robbing a church and the police - that's an interesting point. I'm in two minds about this - I'd like to see criminals harried by the coppers, but I'm also amused by the whole idea of the attending policeman saying that it must have been god's will before walking off.

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  #28  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:08 AM
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Over here, most of the populace doesn't have health insurance. Not yet, anyway.

As for churches and taxes, I think it would be more useful to figure a system whereby a church gets a certain allowance against taxation based on some criteria I don't have the knowledge to even really suggest and then further relief based upon their charitable works. If they don't do enough charity to balance their actual income, then whatever remains is subject to taxation.

Not only would that go a long way to encourage churches to continue to grow and be charitable, but it would force those massive MEGA churches to choose either to be appropriately charitable based upon their resources or to pay into the system for their failure to do so.

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  #29  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:04 PM
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Could the same arguemnet be made about public (or private) school systems? They don't pay property taxes either.
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  #30  
Old 09-07-2012, 04:35 PM
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Could the same arguemnet be made about public (or private) school systems? They don't pay property taxes either.
How can you even compare them?

Public school systems are funded by taxes. Anything done in addition to it is through fundraising or parents shelling out the money because of the lack of funding. The land they're on is usually owned by the local government, so there's no need for property taxes.

Private schools get no governmental funding. That's all paid for by donations and tuition costs. I'm sure there are tax breaks here and there, like property and income taxes in lieu of being an educational institution, as well as a not-for-profit business (profits tend to go back into the school for athletics, arts, scholarships, etc).

But when is the last time a major institution has come out and said "All of you students need to vote for this person." They're typically diverse in having their clubs like "Young Democrats" and "Young Republicans" and such. The President of the University of California at Berkeley, often considered one of the most liberal schools in the nation, has never attempted to persuade the thousands of students and alumni that they need to vote for the liberal candidate in the election. Not even the major religious schools like Notre Dame or Boston College have come out with anything like that. BYU, maybe, but they pretty much are the government there so that may be the exception to the rule, and again would be subject to the IRS's investigation.
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