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LetterRip
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quote:
As the Brothers of Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic religious order, sees it, providing the elderly with the amenities of the village — a sense of security, social opportunities and various services to make independent living easier — is a charitable activity rooted in its pastoral mission to serve others.

Members of the St. Joseph County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, all but one of them lifelong Catholics, see it differently. To them, a charitable ministry does not consist of providing lovely retirement living to affluent people. The current residents of Holy Cross Village have an average net worth of $1 million. Those with deposits on the units under construction are even better off, averaging $1.6 million.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/10/business/10religious.html?ex=1318132800&en=7d610a17f10ec053&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

So what are the legitimate boundaries of tax exemption for religion?

To me this seems to be well across it.

LetterRip

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holosuite
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Theocracy is so chique these days
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hobsen
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Entrepreneurs often build retirement communities for profit, and they should not have to compete with church sponsored communities which do not pay property taxes.

Such exemptions however apply to more than church properties. In Illinois, for example,
quote:
To qualify for a property tax exemption, your organization must:
be an exclusively beneficent and charitable, religious, educational, or governmental organization, and
own the property that is used exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or governmental purposes and not leased or used for profit...

So what do you say about a college which decides to build housing for faculty members? Such decisions get complicated fast, which is one reason courts are needed.
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KnightEnder
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What a racket. Nice work if you can get it.

As an atheist in Texas I actually have to pay double property taxes. [Crying]

Edited to add: Hobsen, you have been a great addition to the forum. (Even if I always have to go back and edit Hobson to Hobsen.)

KE

[ October 10, 2006, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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hobsen
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Thanks, KnightEnder. And yes, the spelling is confusing. I did not think of that.

[ October 10, 2006, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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LetterRip
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hobsen,

quote:
So what do you say about a college which decides to build housing for faculty members?
I wouldn't have a problem with say a church providing housing for active clergy, so active faculty would be fine. Of course that would still allow games to be played, not sure how narrow a definition would be needed to make cheating difficult.

LetterRip

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