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Old 03-24-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leaana View Post
that's not the point. not all churches do this and they are not regulated on what they do with the income or donations they recieve so why should they be exempt? you make it seem as though churches do this all the time and most don't.

feeding and free clothes? lol. you can go to a shelter and get fed as well as get free clothes that people get rid of or are donated. they do this 365 days a year, not just in emergencies. some churches are more altruistic about a mission of helping but most are there to attract members for religious and political reasons.
Just can't please some of you...Next time there's a hurricane in your area be sure and run down to you local goodwill for your meal..

I was speaking of the churches in my area after we were hit very hard by hurricane Ike..

They did a great service for us in this area...

And guess what, not once was I asked to join their church, so I guess that blows you out of the water on that one.

"""you can go to a shelter and get fed as well as get free clothes that people get rid of or are donated. they do this 365 days a year,"""

You do know that these shelters are mostly run by some religion, don't you? I suggest you do a little checking if you don't know it. And they are tax exempt...
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,329,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocean2026 View Post
I just received another email ranting about having prayer in school and I wondered why do Churches get a free ride - meaning those who don't believe have to pay for the believers.

Didn't Ronald Reagan espouse the philosophy of pay for what you use?

This goes for all religious real estate -not just churches.

Those who either don't attend church or have their own private beliefs, are forced to subsidize these buildings. The churches receive all the city services .. and pay for none of them.
Interesting question...

Wikipedia seems to think that there are between 300,000 and 350,000 churches in the United States. Let's call it 325,000.

Assuming a rather generous average appraised value of the grounds and improvements to be $350,000 and assuming a rather egregious average property tax rate of 2.5%, the potential yearly revenues nationwide would be roughly $2.8 billion. That sounds like a lot, but these are still potential revenues based on made up numbers and not actual costs.

I find it interesting that anyone would be interested in a punitive measure against churches-at-large when there are more practical issues of much greater practical impact urgently requiring attention.

For example, Illegal immigration. The Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that households headed by illegal immigrants drew approximately $26 billion in Federal spending while paying only $16 billion in taxes for a real deficit of $10 billion.

There are, quite literally, bigger fish to fry and a lot of them.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:32 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,457,074 times
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Originally Posted by JetJockey View Post
What if she invested in an amplification system and started reading Dawkins over the loudspeaker? Maybe some good Atheist quotes and stories? I'd like to see how far that would go when considering 'free speech'.
It's very simple. That would violate city noise ordinances, and would be stopped. In that case, I cannot see how that would be any different than any other obnoxious noise.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:36 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,457,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Interesting question...

Wikipedia seems to think that there are between 300,000 and 350,000 churches in the United States. Let's call it 325,000.

Assuming a rather generous average appraised value of the grounds and improvements to be $350,000 and assuming a rather egregious average property tax rate of 2.5%, the potential yearly revenues nationwide would be roughly $2.8 billion.
That sounds like a lot, but these are still potential revenues based on made up numbers and not actual costs.

I find it interesting that anyone would be interested in a punitive measure against churches-at-large when there are more practical issues of much greater practical impact urgently requiring attention.

For example, Illegal immigration. The Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that households headed by illegal immigrants drew approximately $26 billion in Federal spending while paying only $16 billion in taxes for a real deficit of $10 billion.

There are, quite literally, bigger fish to fry and a lot of them.

I agree with your premise.

I'd also like to point out that I think - in other words, it is my opinion - that your numbers I bolded and put in red, are too high. The vast majority of churches in the United States are small churches. I don't think they'd average anywhere near $350,000 for assessed value.

But, like I said, that's just my opinion. And I also know that it wasn't really the essence of the point you were making.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 4,716,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
I agree with your premise.

I'd also like to point out that I think - in other words, it is my opinion - that your numbers I bolded and put in red, are too high. The vast majority of churches in the United States are small churches. I don't think they'd average anywhere near $350,000 for assessed value.

But, like I said, that's just my opinion. And I also know that it wasn't really the essence of the point you were making.
What would it be if they were taxed like businesses?
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:25 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,457,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
What would it be if they were taxed like businesses?
I'm not talking the property tax rate, but the assessment.

For instance, I've got some good friends who are members of a small church in a small town. Some years ago, that church "left" the Presbyterian denomination over all manner of weird issues. The denomination then told the congregation that the denomination owned the building, and that they'd have to buy it if they were going to keep meeting there.

Reluctantly, the congregation agreed to buy the building back - and they did so for $10,000.


I know that that might be an extreme case. But based on what I've read, something like 90% of all churches in America have 100 or fewer members. Most of them meet in tiny little buildings - or rent space somewhere. They do not have big fancy buildings.

That's my long way of saying that I do NOT think the average assessed value of church property in America would be $350,000. I think it'd be more like $100,000. Maybe. So the cited $2.8 billion in property tax revenue would likely be less than $1 billion.

That's all.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 4,716,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
I'm not talking the property tax rate, but the assessment.

For instance, I've got some good friends who are members of a small church in a small town. Some years ago, that church "left" the Presbyterian denomination over all manner of weird issues. The denomination then told the congregation that the denomination owned the building, and that they'd have to buy it if they were going to keep meeting there.

Reluctantly, the congregation agreed to buy the building back - and they did so for $10,000.


I know that that might be an extreme case. But based on what I've read, something like 90% of all churches in America have 100 or fewer members. Most of them meet in tiny little buildings - or rent space somewhere. They do not have big fancy buildings.

That's my long way of saying that I do NOT think the average assessed value of church property in America would be $350,000. I think it'd be more like $100,000. Maybe. So the cited $2.8 billion in property tax revenue would likely be less than $1 billion.

That's all.
You have extremes on the small end--and also on the large end. Like the Catholic cathederal in downtown Los Angeles. It's worth millions. Same with the old church in the middle of New York City (forgot its name) and the Chrystal Cathederal which is worth millions...
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Orlando
105 posts, read 186,815 times
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Churches non profit? Really.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:29 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,457,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcashley View Post
You have extremes on the small end--and also on the large end. Like the Catholic cathederal in downtown Los Angeles. It's worth millions. Same with the old church in the middle of New York City (forgot its name) and the Chrystal Cathederal which is worth millions...
Absolutely. I agree.

I wonder what would happen though, if there were to be assessed values assigned to church properties. When you think about it, any and every church could contest their valuation. It'd be a nightmare. On what basis would the county or city make the valuation? By the square foot? And what would the use as comparable real estate? A lot of church buildings are set up in a way that makes them pretty much impractical - or impossible - to use for anything else.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
3,196 posts, read 4,716,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Absolutely. I agree.

I wonder what would happen though, if there were to be assessed values assigned to church properties. When you think about it, any and every church could contest their valuation. It'd be a nightmare. On what basis would the county or city make the valuation? By the square foot? And what would the use as comparable real estate? A lot of church buildings are set up in a way that makes them pretty much impractical - or impossible - to use for anything else.
We just sold our synagogue--because we moved to a different city. Assessments really are possible.
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