Saturday, January 8, 2011

Taxing churches and non-profits?

Way to go Mission, Kansas.

An article in on the presidential prayer team website offers some insight into how the government of Mission, Kansas is trying to subvert the tax-exempt status of churches and non-profits  with a new "fee."

Churches being levied on their number of worshipers

by Diann Noles
Mission, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, has a new twist on taxes – a fee that charges churches based on the number of worshipers and their number of trips to church each year. In this mid-sized, mid-America city usually associated with conservative and pro-Christian viewpoints and policies, this fee has caused an uproar among area churches and other nonprofit groups, resulting in a lawsuit against the city by two of the churches.

Diann ends her article with the following paragraph:

Mission, Kansas is not the only city in America that has tried to institute such fees: the Idaho and Florida Supreme Courts have both ruled in similar cases that such “fees” are, in fact, taxes. “This case will boil down to whether the courts consider this a fee or a property tax,” Stanley told “We’re confident that, based on what the Kansas Supreme Court has said many times over and the difference between a fee and a property tax that, in reality, what the city of Mission has done here is to institute a property tax and subvert the property tax exemptions for churches, charities and other nonprofit organizations, simply because they want more money.”

I urge you to click on the title and read the entire article.

We live in an era , it seems, when local governments will stoop to new levels to improve the cash flow. Fees are not reviewable like taxes, but they are a tax just the same.  Be on guard!

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