Taxing Churches

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by aefting, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. aefting

    aefting
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    Does any one know if churches normally have to pay property tax on undeveloped land that they own? In our case, the land will be used for our first building.

    Andy
     
  2. Bible Student

    Bible Student
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    In Cass County Missouri churches are required to pay property tax on undeveloped property. Once they start to develope the land it comes off the tax roll.

    Richard
     
  3. Ben W

    Ben W
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    If churches pay tax, why not have the government pay the pastors wages?
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    What is the connection there, Ben?
     
  5. LarryN

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    How common or widespread is this?

    Here (Minnesota) we own several acres of undeveloped land across a road from the main church property. We intend to ultimately use this land for some type of future expansion. To my knowledge, the church doesn't owe or pay any taxes on it.
     
  6. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    In Arizona only the land that is being used for "religious purposes" are tax excempt. If the church owns land that it is not using, tax must be paid on it.

    Bro Tony
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    What qualifies for "religious purpose"? If you have a church picnic on it once or twice a year, or a youth outing, is it exempt? Do you konw what the standard is?
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Wisconsin had a 10-acre rule. A church could own 10 acres (assuming enough for building, parking, school, ball fields) and not pay tax. And acreage above that was taxable at the typical rate for the type of land.

    We got 20+ acres for a new facility, and appealed and granted tax exemption for it all.

    As a ministry, the church should not be taxed as it helps the community like a school, etc.

    As a business (farming land, etc) it should be taxed as a business.
     
  9. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Larry,

    That is a good question. In my experience being a pastor for over 20 years in the state of Arizona, the State pretty much takes the churches word for it. I have known churches that have undeveloped land next to the land they were using and because they were intending someday to use it they did not report it. Our church owned land adjacent to our buildings and there was a small house on it. We rented it to a family, and we paid taxes on that land. As our church grew, we had to have the family vacate the building and we began to use it for our offices. At that time we transfer it back to the status of non tax.

    But as I said alot depends on the integrity of the church and pastor. If they are not completely truthful they could hold a picnic on the land once a year and get away with it. It really smacks of disobedience to what Jesus said, "...render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's".

    Bro Tony
     
  10. go2church

    go2church
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    Generally if a church isn't using land that it owns and it is undeveloped you pay taxes. We had to in New Mexico, once we built the new building we filed the proper papers and came off the tax roles. Not that unusal
     
  11. Terry_Herrington

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    What really smacks of disobedience to the what Jesus says is to give the government control over God's church. In doing so, a person is denying God's sovereignty.
     
  12. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    OK Terry I'll bite. What control does government have over your church. They have no control over the one I pastor. We teach the Word, disciple people, do the ministry's we feel led to without interference of the government. I have never been restricted by the government in anyway. To pay taxes that are owed on property not being used by the church is not being under the government's control.

    Bro Tony
     
  13. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Look at it this way, "the church" is a body of people, most of whom pay tax the first time, because they choose to worship God in a church they are required as a body to pay additional tax. When the church pays tax, it is the people in it that are paying the tax.

    Resultingly if Christians are going to pay two sets of tax then the government might as well fund the pastors wages in churches as has been the case in history. At least then we could get rid of the money preachers in churches if all they got was the same as other pastors.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bible Student

    Bible Student
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    Ben W,

    This is what happens in Germany.(At least in the 70's) They pay a protestant or catholic tax. The problem is that the churches have no say who is a member of their church. As long as they pay the tax they can go to any church they want and the church has to accept them.

    I do not want that type of control over the church I attend or pastor.

    I have no problem paying tax on undeveloped land.

    Richard [​IMG]
     
  15. Terry_Herrington

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    OK Terry I'll bite. What control does government have over your church. They have no control over the one I pastor. We teach the Word, disciple people, do the ministry's we feel led to without interference of the government. I have never been restricted by the government in anyway. To pay taxes that are owed on property not being used by the church is not being under the government's control.

    Bro Tony
    </font>[/QUOTE]The government has no control over the church I attend. We are unregistered and do not pay taxes to the government. Remember, the power to tax is the power to control.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    That already happens in every business in America, but no one suggests that the government should pay the wages of workers.
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    Our church gives a gift of $$ to the City earmarked for fire/police services that bless our body.

    Issue: Where in the Bible does the "church" own property to be taxed, anyway??
     
  18. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Terry,

    Do you meet anywhere? Does the government know you exist? I can't believe the building you meet in is not taxed, if it is not an encorporated church. By the way the government doesn't tax our church either as we use all the land the Lord has blessed us with for His purpose. I will stand against any government interference in the church.

    Bro Tony
     
  19. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    In the time of the writing of the Scripture the Church did not possess land, you are right. But, the Church was instructed to obey the government set over them as long as it did not violate God's commands. And even then, they had to submit themselves to the government for whatever punishment was required.

    Bro Tony
     
  20. Ben W

    Ben W
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    That already happens in every business in America, but no one suggests that the government should pay the wages of workers. </font>[/QUOTE]Yet the christians allow that situation to occur unfairly. Simply for going to church you are subject to additional taxation?
     

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