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-Church Denied Use of Own Property Over Tax Revenue?

by Dr. D ~ January 15th, 2013


From the Pacific Justice Institute:

Cheltenham, PA – Police in a Pennsylvania township began monitoring a property purchased by a church while local officials threatened $500 per day fines, claiming that use of the land was illegal. The First Korean Church of New York was denied permission to use a property which it purchased in a sheriff’s sale in the Township of Cheltenham for use as a seminary and to hold small church services.

The property was previously used as a seminary campus by another organization. The land, zoned for residential use, is more than 30 acres and has a 110 room mansion and another 44 room hall. Now in disrepair, these structures were built more than 100 years ago for an industrialist during what is known as the “Gilded Age.”  

Suit was brought by the seminary. If the property were developed it would be “a very attractive residential use” and could generate “a significant amount of tax revenue,” according to papers filed in court. A federal judge ruled against First Korean finding the loss of tax revenue to the township was a legitimate basis for the denial. The seminary appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is a story that is similar to many that are being played out in communities all across America and an issue I post upon frequently. Cities and communities in the USA now look upon churches as a financial burden since no tax revenue can usually be extracted from worship facilities and church properties. 

There was a time in America when churches were looked upon as an asset to the community and necessary to the moral foundation of our society but that is no longer the case. It is now a matter of dollars and cents and businesses and even private residences are now preferred by many local government bureaucrats for their tax producing potential.

The fact that the Korean Church property was used previous for a seminary should be considered in this case. The church bought the property with the logical expectation of using it in the same way the previous owners did. Meanwhile the community leaders have a different view and actually are threatening the church with fines if they use their own property?

This cannot be allowed to stand. If so, churches in America will face increasing problems of loosing the use of their own properties to local leaders wanting to increase their tax bases.  The first amendment and freedom of religion should have some bearing on this case and similar ones.  We look forward to the proper resolution of this in a Court of Appeals.            *Top

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1 Response to -Church Denied Use of Own Property Over Tax Revenue?

  1. Timothy

    Then you should pay taxes like Jesus told you to and stop free loading all the time with your hand out.

    I will say one thing though it was you Christian Idiots that started the property tax trash that the rest of us have to pay that made it impossible to own land in our own country.

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