Stop the tax-free gravy train

By Richard C. Evey

There are many organizations that are — and have been for the best part of this Republic’s history — tax-exempt. These groups are formed under what some call religion. The place of these religions are called churches, synagogues, mosques, holy places and places of worship. I will use the term “churches” in referring to all religions; if I offend someone, get over it.

These places are, in this Republic, tax-exempt; also tax-exempt is the residence that the “churches” own for the Grand Pooh-bah of that religion. Then there are the other buildings that the “churches” use for many other things that are also tax-exempt: buildings used for schools, day care, various offices, rental office space, apartments, hotels, strip malls, etc.

This tax-exempt status also goes to those religious originations based overseas: the Vatican, Church of England, Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, Judaism, Protestants and many more, too many to count.

This was my wake-up call to government and taxation.

In 1965 when I was working in Washington, D.C., I visited a new apartment building, office complex and hotel. They were selling the apartments as a part of a condominium project. A one-bedroom apartment was selling for $75,000, a three-bedroom, top-floor, with a view of the world was selling for $300,000; and this was 1965! The office building was handled by a leasing agent and the hotel was leased by Howard Johnson. I toured the apartments with a lady friend, it cost $5 to get in, and you got coffee and snacks. It was wonderful and quite overwhelming. The complex was called Watergate. Sound familiar?

After some discussion with a few people, an agent came to us and my lady friend asked about expenses and the agent discussed all aspects of the facility; condo fees, utilities, insurance and property taxes. PROPERTY TAXES? Someone from the group asked why they were charging property taxes since the complex was owned by the Vatican and was tax-exempt. There was a very long silence, and the agent said he will discuss the purchase and other issues privately.

There are many “churches” around the county that have day care centers, schools, etc., and all this property is tax-exempt. Because these buildings are tax-exempt, “We the People” have to pick up the slack, one way or another. As I found out, a lot of vehicles licensed to “churches” are tax-exempt, even the vehicle for the Grand Pooh-bah. As a side note, all of the vehicles that are owned by “churches” in Craven County, N.C., have county tags to keep them tax-exempt.

I have no problem with a “church” being tax exempt, JUST the “church,” not the house of residence and all the other buildings that are nothing more than a real big profit center for the “church’ in question.

Another way that these “churches” use their influence to plunder our tax money is through government representation. There is a diplomatic post at the Vatican. The Vatican is not a country; it is the headquarters of a ‘church.” There are many countries that have state religions and these religions dictate to the government of that country: England, Spain, France, Israel, Italy and Japan, just to name a few.

A way that the taxpayers are ripped off, in this Republic, is the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives. This office was set up back in the Reagan years and made bigger by Clinton and then Bush. This group of “people” decides who gets how much of our tax money. There is no oversight or accountably. I have written to the White House a number of times and have never received a response, even when invoking the Freedom of Information Act.

The tax-exempt status of other than “church” property, tax-exempt corporations, groups and the list goes on, MUST stop! These people are milking the system and “We the People” are paying the bill and that bill is big…and I mean real BIG. This Republic cannot support others who say they are doing G_ds work or helping people for the greater good.

These “churches” and other organizations take money; a lot of it is taxpayers’ money. They do not pay taxes, they do not have to report how much they are taking in or how they are spending it. The federal tax code allows them not to report and are protected from disclosure.

The Rainbow Coalition was reported to be paying Jesse Jackson mistress, by whom he had a child, $10,000 a month out of the organization’s funds. When asked to confirm this and account for the money, the Rainbow Coalition and Jesse Jackson stated that according to the federal tax code and being a tax-exempt origination, they did not have to account for anything to anybod, except the IRS, and IRS was not going there.

I support three tax-exempt organizations: Cousteau Society, Advocates for Self-Government and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. These groups offer their accounts data to anyone who wishes to see it and all say they are happy to do so.

When I worked for the federal government, we were told to give to the United Way. Side note: I never gave but did I catch holy hell for not giving. The bosses were pressured to get 100 percent participation, and that made them look good. The bosses got the bounces, not the workers. We got a list of all those that the United Way APPROVED, then we could pick who we wish to give to.

The organizations were required to list the percentage going to admin and percentage to people, most of them listed more than 50 percent was administrative costs, and all these groups were tax-exempt organizations. By the way, the head of the American Red Cross receives more than $350,000 a year, plus expenses. For those in North Carolina, that was Elizabeth Dole.

If people want to give to these groups voluntarily, then that is fine with me. But people must not be forced to give to groups like United Way, and our tax money should not be given to these groups without our permission. The taxpayers of this Republic cannot support these people for much longer.

The tax-exempt gravy train must be stopped and all must pay their fare share, like all of the working class. But the main issue is that the tax codes, federal and state, are written for the benefit of those who can influence the people who pass the bills and those that sign them into law. The government must stop taxing people from cradle to grave and beyond.

Something must be done: Eliminate all taxes, go to a flat tax, national sales tax, use tax, Fair Tax, or one of the other ideas. Anyway, the 16th Amendment was never ratified!



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0 Responses to Stop the tax-free gravy train

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  3. JakeTom

    I hate to be a stickler but the Vatican is actually its own sovereign City-State. But anywho I agree for the most part of what you are saying. I do believe in principle that churches should be tax-exempt just for the issue of churches being beholden to the state and vice versa. I never liked the idea of a the Faith Based Initiatives program just for the reason I cited above. I’m torn cause I totally understand where you coming from but the more we can separate these two the better in my view. I don’t want any of there tax money and I don’t want to give them any either. And I’m not a libertarian by any means at all.

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  5. Tax–free cash and pension fund are very interesting.

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