~~~ @Com ~~~   Welcome to TAX THE CHURCHES!

 Links  Research Report:
Challenging the Tax Exemption for Religion
How We all Subsidize Religion in the United States
The Yearly Cost of Religious Tax Exemptions
Atheists Challenge Tax Exemption for Religious Groups

City Creek Owner Non Profit, Tax Exempt
March 28, 2012

(K U T V) SALT LAKE CITY – The arm of the LDS Church which served as "master developer" of Utah's newest and most elaborate shopping, residential and office complex has federal "tax exempt" status.

In response to questions from 2News, City Creek Reserve Inc, or CCRI, revealed it's a "non-profit corporation."

As such, CCRI Spokesman Dale Bills noted the company "pays property and sales taxes." But it appears CCRI may not pay federal income taxes.

If City Creek Reserve makes money, it will go the LDS Church.

"Much like a university endowment fund supports a university, any after tax return on investment supports the religious, charitable and educational mission of the Church," Bills said.

City Creek has already attracted thousands of people in the week since its grand opening, transforming aging blocks south of the Salt Lake LDS temple into a downtown hub of retail commerce.

But if a pervasive marketing campaign, and word of mouth is spreading news of City Creek's lustrous shine, less known is the business end of the project.

A week ago, Dee Brewer, a representative for mega shopping center developer Taubman Centers Inc, said Taubman "owns and operates the retail components of City Creek."

But that ownership may not be what you think.

City Creek Reserve told 2News Taubman has a "long-term participating air space lease" for the stores.

And Steven Anderson, a commercial appraiser in the Salt Lake County Assessor's Office, put the lease at roughly 30 years.

"When that expires, the title reverts back to the church or CCRI," said Anderson.

The City Creek project also has three condominium developments, the towering Promontory building, the Regent - a swooping glass high rise, and the Richards Court, with the most direct views of Temple Square.

Anderson said buyers of condos within the buildings have ownership for 99 years, but like the retail space, that ownership reverts back to CCRI.

Said Anderson, "At the end of the day, CCRI owns everything."

What, exactly is 'everything' worth? That is still a question.

Anderson has yet to crunch all the numbers, and offer a figure on the total taxable value, though that process is underway.

A 2News inquiry over a potential state tax exemption for City Creek Reserve Inc was not available at news time.

Source:  K U T V . com


In the News
Religion in the News

Ntheist News from the past

Utah Bus signs '84

Tax Church Property: A Protest - 1987

Utah Chapter to American Atheists Triumphs in the Face of Adversity - 1980

FFRF Sues Feds over Unconstitutional Tax Benefits for Christian Ministers

How the god Business Gets Away With Being Tax Free and Why Taxing Churches Could Bring Us Into the 21st Century 

Faith-based groups get stimulus millions



Jury Nullification

Amazon.com Tax Center

2000 Church and Clergy Tax Guide



 Links    Facsimile 1   |   Facsimile 2   |   Facsimile B   |   Jos. Smith Papyri

Plaintiffs, Appellants, and Cross-Appellees,
Defendant, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant,
Defendant-Intervenor, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant.


* The first recorded tax exemption for churches was during the Roman Empire, when Constantine, Emperor of Rome from 306-337, granted the Christian church a complete exemption from all forms of taxation following his conversion to Christianity circa 312.

* The law against churches intervening in political campaigns was passed by the US Congress in 1954. Since then, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been successful in using the law to revoke the tax-exempt status of only one church: the Church at Pierce Creek in Binghamton, NY, which had placed an advertisement in USA Today and the Washington Times rebuking Bill Clinton four days before the 1992 presidential election.

* If the "parsonage exemption" on religious ministers' housing costs were revoked, American clergy members would cumulatively lose an estimated $2.3 billion over five years.

* In spring 2010, the state of Oklahoma awarded tax-exempt status to a Satanist group called The Church of the IV Majesties.

* According to former White House senior policy analyst Jeff Schweitzer, PhD, US churches own $300-$500 billion in untaxed property.  New York City alone loses $627 million in annual property tax revenue due to 9,500 churches being tax-exempt, according to a July 2011 analysis by New York's nonpartisan Independent Budget Office.

Tax Exemption for Churches is bad becasue:

Tax exemptions for churches violate the separation of church and state required by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. By providing a financial benefit to religious institutions, government is supporting religion. Associate Justice of the US Supreme court, William O. Douglas, in his dissenting opinion in Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York, decided May 4, 1970, stated: "If believers are entitled to public financial support, so are nonbelievers. A believer and nonbeliever under the present law are treated differently because of the articles of their faith… I conclude that this tax exemption is unconstitutional."

A tax exemption is a privilege, not a right. Governments have traditionally granted this privilege to churches because of the positive contribution they are presumed to make to the community, but there is no such provision in the US Constitution.

Churches receive special treatment from the IRS beyond what other nonprofits receive, and such favoritism is unconstitutional. While secular charities are compelled to report their income and financial structure to the IRS using Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax), churches are granted automatic exemption from federal income tax without having to file a tax return.

A tax break for churches forces all American taxpayers to support religion, even if they oppose some or all religious doctrines. As Mark Twain argued: "no church property is taxed and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit in the public income thus caused."

A tax exemption is a form of subsidy, and the Constitution bars government from subsidizing religion. William H. Rehnquist, then-Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, declared on behalf of a unanimous court in Regan v. Taxation with Representation (1983): "Both tax exemptions and tax deductibility are a form of subsidy that is administered through the tax system. A tax exemption has much the same effect as a cash grant to the organization of the amount of tax it would have to pay on its income."

The tax code makes no distinction between authentic religions and fraudulent startup "faiths," which benefit at taxpayers' expense. In spring 2010, Oklahoma awarded tax exempt status to Satanist group The Church of the IV Majesties.  In Mar. 2004, the IRS warned of an increase in schemes that "exploit legitimate laws to establish sham one-person, nonprofit religious corporations," charging $1,000 or more per person to attend "seminars."  The Church of Scientology, which TIME Magazine described in May 1991 as a "thriving cult of greed and power" and "a hugely profitable global racket,"  was granted federal income tax exemption in Oct. 1993. The New York Times reported that this "saved the church tens of millions of dollars in taxes."

Tax exemptions to secular nonprofits like hospitals and homeless shelters are justified because such organizations do work that would otherwise fall to government. Churches, however, while they may undertake charitable work, exist primarily for religious worship and instruction, which the US government is constitutionally prevented from performing.

Exempting churches from taxation costs the government billions of dollars in lost revenue, which it cannot afford, especially in tough economic times. According to former White House senior policy analyst Jeff Schweitzer, PhD, US churches own $300-$500 billion in untaxed property.  New York's nonpartisan Independent Budget Office determined in July 2011 that New York City alone loses $627 million in property tax revenue.  Lakewood Church, a "megachurch" in Houston, TX, earns $75 million in annual untaxed revenue, and the Church of Scientology's annual income exceeds $500 million.

Despite the 1954 law banning political campaigning by tax-exempt groups, many churches are political machines.  Every fall, the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, organizes "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," encouraging pastors to defy IRS rules by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. More than 500 pastors participated in Oct. 2011, yet none lost their churches' exemption status.  In Oct. 2010, Minnesota pastor Brad Brandon of Berean Bible Baptist Church endorsed several Republican candidates and dared the "liberal media" to file complaints with the IRS. Brandon later announced on his radio program: "I'm going to explain to you what happened… Nothing happened."

American taxpayers are supporting the extravagant lifestyles of wealthy pastors, whose lavish "megachurches" accumulate millions of tax-free dollars every year. US Senator Chuck Grassley, MA (R-IA) launched an investigation into these groups in Nov. 2007 after receiving complaints of church revenue being used to buy pastors private jets, Rolls Royce cars, multimillion-dollar homes, trips to Hawaii and Fiji, and in one case, a $23,000, marble-topped chest of drawers installed in the 150,000 square foot headquarters of Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Missouri.

The tax break given to churches restricts their freedom of speech because it prohibits pastors from speaking out for or against political candidates.  As argued by Rev. Carl Gregg, pastor of Maryland's Broadview Church, "when Christians speak, we shouldn't have to worry about whether we are biting the hand that feeds us because we shouldn't be fed from Caesar/Uncle Sam in the first place."

The "parsonage exemption" on ministers' homes makes already-wealthy pastors even richer at taxpayers' expense. The average annual salary for senior pastors with congregations of 2,000 or more is $147,000, with some earning up to $400,000.  In addition to the federal exemption on housing expenses enjoyed by these ministers, they often pay zero dollars in state property tax. Church leaders Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International had three tax-free parsonages: a million-dollar mansion in Atlanta, GA, a two-million-dollar mansion in Fayetteville, GA,  and a $2.5 million Manhattan apartment.  Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, leaders of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Fort Worth, TX, live in a church-owned, tax-free $6.2 million lakefront parsonage.

Source:  ChurchesAndTaxes.org

Returning It

No full tax break for Mormon temple in England
By P E G G Y   F L E T C H E R   S T A C K   Mar 4, 2014

European judges have rejected the LDS Church’s human-rights complaint against the United Kingdom, The Telegraph reported Tuesday, so now the Utah-based faith will have to pay property taxes on its Preston Temple.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints claims nearly 190,000 members in the U.K., where Mormon meetinghouses enjoy full exemptions from property taxes. But LDS temples, unlike meetinghouses, are open only to devout Latter-day Saints with "recommends."

The British government ruled in 2005 that a full property tax break was not appropriate for the temple in Lancashire because it did not qualify as a "place of public religious worship," The Telegraph reported. The France-based European Court of Human Rights has now agreed.

The temple does receive an 80 percent reduction in rates because of its use for charitable purposes, The Telegraph noted.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respects the decision of the Strasbourg court," said Malcom Adcock, a spokesman for the church in Britain, "and is grateful that the charitable activities of churches are recognized under U.K. and European law."

The LDS Church, which also has a temple in London, declined additional comment Tuesday.

Salt Lake City-based church representatives also could not immediately provide an update on a summons for LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson to appear in a British court on charges of fraud brought by a former Mormon bishop, who alleges the faith’s teachings are deceptive.

A district judge in Westminster Magistrates’ Court of London previously issued a summons to Monson, considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" in Mormonism, to appear March 14.

M a t t h e w P i p e r

Source SlTrib.com

Returning It

Edmund Fitzsimmon's
 Secrets To Living a Tax Free Life

If you support this page, you may build a link to it.

~~~~ Page by @Com ~~~~ This page was last updated on 03/05/14