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Montreal is taxing churches
#1

Montreal is taxing churches
No more religious exemptions: Montreal is taxing churches

It's not a blanket tax, but the city is requiring churches to pay taxes based on how each room of the building is used. It seems that they still aren't being taxed when used for religious reasons, but they can also tax the church when it's not in use.

I'm not really getting the ins and outs of this odd new law, but I like that people are finally starting to examine whether or not religious institutions should be tax exempt.
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#2

Montreal is taxing churches
That looks like a good start; non-religious-use property should be taxed like everyone else's.

The reasoning for not taxing religious property is to avoid even the appearance of the government favoring one over others by unevenly taxing.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it.
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#3

Montreal is taxing churches
Religious property should be taxed like every else.  It's just a business and "god" is the product they sell.  And tax them all to avoid any appearance of favoritism.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-04-2019, 01:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote: No more religious exemptions: Montreal is taxing churches

It's not a blanket tax, but the city is requiring churches to pay taxes based on how each room of the building is used. It seems that they still aren't being taxed when used for religious reasons, but they can also tax the church when it's not in use.

I'm not really getting the ins and outs of this odd new law, but I like that people are finally starting to examine whether or not religious institutions should be tax exempt.

In American terms they are exorcising the "member benefit exemption" where a nonprofit activity is for members only, not open to the wider community. The way I would do it is similar to how one can claim a deduction today for a room in your house used in whole or in part as a home office. Basically, you calculate the square footage of that area that is used exclusively for business and what percentage it is of the livable square footage of the house, and then can deduct that percentage of property taxes and utilities and maintenance for your home, for business purposes.

It should be the same for churches. If you're having a worship service or Sunday School (or at least what that has come to mean in the modern day), that is member indoctrination and instruction, so it's not deductible. If you run a (no strings, no preaching) soup kitchen out of the annex, then (probably subject to how much of the time it's used for that) activities in that part of the building could be deductible.

Many churches already separately incorporate and run a public good like a soup kitchen anyway, which means they're already well set up to carve out different types of activities to be differently taxed than others. In fact it's partly a tacit admission of the fundamentally different purpose.
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#5

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-04-2019, 04:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Religious property should be taxed like every else.  It's just a business and "god" is the product they sell.  And tax them all to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

It's a First Amendment issue, not that religious property can't or shouldn't be taxed.  How can a tax valuation be put on them in a fair manner so as to not favor one religion over another, or even appear to?

N.B. The idea of taxing only the non-religious use has some merit, but I think they should be taxed in their entirety.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it.
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#6

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-04-2019, 05:30 PM)Chas Wrote:
(12-04-2019, 04:43 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Religious property should be taxed like every else.  It's just a business and "god" is the product they sell.  And tax them all to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

It's a First Amendment issue, not that religious property can't or shouldn't be taxed.  How can a tax valuation be put on them in a fair manner so as to not favor one religion over another, or even appear to?

N.B. The idea of taxing only the non-religious use has some merit, but I think they should be taxed in their entirety.

It seems to me that if all religions are taxed at the same rate as "everyone else" or lower, no credible allegation of favoring one religion over another could be made. In fact if you remove "or lower" from the above statement it's even stronger.

The actual fact that obtains right now is religious institutions are uniformly favored over secular institutions; the idea is to flip that so that they are treated no differently than secular institutions.

That said, the religious often claim persecution or disfavor or discrimination where it doesn't exist; I don't see how you can avoid that. They just move the goal posts and make arguments that have surface plausibility to people who aren't paying attention to actual facts. It goes with the territory. They will want to preserve the preferential treatment they get now, and Christians will want to do that while covertly getting a better deal than other religions where possible, by structural means afforded to their status as apex predator among religions in this country.
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#7

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-04-2019, 06:03 PM)mordant Wrote: It seems to me that if all religions are taxed at the same rate as "everyone else" or lower, no credible allegation of favoring one religion over another could be made. In fact if you remove "or lower" from the above statement it's even stronger.

The actual fact that obtains right now is religious institutions are uniformly favored over secular institutions; the idea is to flip that so that they are treated no differently than secular institutions.

That's not the point.

Quote:That said, the religious often claim persecution or disfavor or discrimination where it doesn't exist; I don't see how you can avoid that. They just move the goal posts and make arguments that have surface plausibility to people who aren't paying attention to actual facts. It goes with the territory. They will want to preserve the preferential treatment they get now, and Christians will want to do that while covertly getting a better deal than other religions where possible, by structural means afforded to their status as apex predator among religions in this country.

That's the point.

Of course, it was originally between Christian sects.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it.
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#8

Montreal is taxing churches
The first amendment says nothing about taxation.  Churches are largely exempt from taxation because they are almost automatically classified as charitable organizations and donations, gifts, etc are thus exempt and the people making such donations get to claim a tax deduction for them.  Property taxes are a largely state/local affair and it is frightening to think how much real estate is getting away scot-free because some fuckhead puts a cross on top of it.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#9

Montreal is taxing churches
The government could tax on the basis of the property, not how it's used.
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#10

Montreal is taxing churches
Yes, to a point.  In fact local property taxes are generally divided between residential and commercial.

https://www.fair-assessments.com/blog/pr...esidential

Quote:In the United States, local governments that impose property taxes classify property into two major categories, namely, commercial and residential.


I would classify churches as commercial since no one - not even their fucking god - lives there!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#11

Montreal is taxing churches
All churches here in Australia enjoy tax-free status, and the Federal government is intractable when it
comes to talk of changing that status.  The catholic and Anglican churches in particular avoid paying
multi-billions of dollars in both Federal and State taxes.  The churches here have a combined annual
income of $30 billion, according to a recent royal commission.

Religions are also not required by law to lodge any financial records. There is no transparency. So where
does the multi-billion dollar revenue of religious organisations come from—the business profits from huge
state and federal grants—and where exactly does the money go? Church operations are tax-free, based
on the escape clause of "advancing religion", although only 61% of Aussies define themselves as theists.
Our governing parliamentarians are now heavily Christianised—at a rate far greater than the general public,
which is now majority religion-neutral.

The churches are actually corporate enterprises—together with their private hospitals, aged care facilities,
private schools, and a raft of commercial businesses, ranging from wineries to insurance companies and
to turf-laying firms.

The Sanitarium company (which produces a large range of breakfast cereals and vegetarian products here
and in NZ) is the best known religious corporation—wholly owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
with a recent turnover of $550 million, and a staff of more than 1,500.   And all tax-exempt.

In 2004, the Rationalist Society of Australia investigated religious tax privileges.  It found the Catholic Church
in Australia (alone) owned an estimated $100 billion on property and assets, and based on conservative
figures, it escaped annual taxes of around $2.6 billion.  And that was 15 years ago.

It's now time for new and in-depth research into the degree to which religious corporations are creating this
massive shortfall in government revenue, through their avoidance of various taxes, and also the effect on our
national budgetary deficit.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#12

Montreal is taxing churches
The funny thing is that this didn't even made a blip in local news.
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#13

Montreal is taxing churches
Quote:It found the Catholic Church
in Australia (alone) owned an estimated $100 billion on property and assets, and based on conservative
figures, it escaped annual taxes of around $2.6 billion.  And that was 15 years ago.

Seize the churches.  Turn them into medical marijuana dispensaries, shelters for abuse victims or even whorehouses.  Something more socially useful than churches!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#14

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-04-2019, 01:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote: No more religious exemptions: Montreal is taxing churches

It's not a blanket tax, but the city is requiring churches to pay taxes based on how each room of the building is used. It seems that they still aren't being taxed when used for religious reasons, but they can also tax the church when it's not in use.

I'm not really getting the ins and outs of this odd new law, but I like that people are finally starting to examine whether or not religious institutions should be tax exempt.

I think that's the right way to go.  I wouldn't tax churches in general not just because of freedom of religion but freedom of speech and assembly, if people of their own free will want to gather for some purpose I see it as no different than gathering for a game of Dungeons and Dragons or a quilting bee.  In any case, yes, political topics may come up, and the participants discuss and push their political views.  But if the "church" expands into, say, child care or other clearly commercial activities, then hell yes tax them.
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#15

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-05-2019, 03:03 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: I think that's the right way to go.  I wouldn't tax churches in general not just because of freedom of religion but freedom of speech and assembly, if people of their own free will want to gather for some purpose I see it as no different than gathering for a game of Dungeons and Dragons or a quilting bee.  In any case, yes, political topics may come up, and the participants discuss and push their political views.  But if the "church" expands into, say, child care or other clearly commercial activities, then hell yes tax them.

Again, the article was kind of vague on how this was applied, but it seems to be being applied on a case by case basis in terms of how even different rooms of the church are used. So, imagine a private D&D game that might have somehow spawned some side business.
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#16

Montreal is taxing churches
(12-05-2019, 04:15 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:
(12-05-2019, 03:03 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: I think that's the right way to go.  I wouldn't tax churches in general not just because of freedom of religion but freedom of speech and assembly, if people of their own free will want to gather for some purpose I see it as no different than gathering for a game of Dungeons and Dragons or a quilting bee.  In any case, yes, political topics may come up, and the participants discuss and push their political views.  But if the "church" expands into, say, child care or other clearly commercial activities, then hell yes tax them.

Again, the article was kind of vague on how this was applied, but it seems to be being applied on a case by case basis in terms of how even different rooms of the church are used. So, imagine a private D&D game that might have somehow spawned some side business.

Yeah these things are fuzzy and tricky.  To me the key issue is scale and even that is hard to define and legislate.  If there is large scale providing of goods and services for set fees then yes it seems there should be regulation and taxation to the degree it is for similarly recognized regular market businesses.
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#17

Montreal is taxing churches
They should tax the church depending on how many parishioners are involved with the church.  The more people attending, the higher the taxes. It should include people who watch the 500 Club shit show.  The higher the viewer ratings the more it's taxed.   That'd be a really fun way to annoy religious people. 

Bahahahaha!         Smiley17
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