Ernie Chambers' bill to end property tax exemption for religious groups gets a hearing


#1

LINCOLN — It was New Testament v. Old Testament when Nebraska lawmakers considered a bill Friday to put churches and other religious property on the tax rolls.

omaha.com/article/20140124/NEWS/140129112


#2

Ernie Chambers tried to sue God in 2007 to make a point about lawsuits:

ketv.com/State-Sen-Ernie-Chambers-Sues-God/-/9675214/10211380/-/octyom/-/index.html

Walz v. Tax Commission:

The Court held that grants of tax exemption to religious organizations do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walz_v._Tax_Commission


#3

He’s a pro abortion atheist. And he says the term limits were passed to get rid of him. I don’t know how he got back into the unicameral.

The bill will hopefully not pass as it violates the 1st amendment/common sense.


#4

Why do religious groups get property tax exemptions? :shrug:


#5

Who would vote for this clown to begin with?


#6

This is for Churches (AFAIK). I know of a parish in my diocese that is one of the poorer parishes. If they had to pay property taxes, they would probably have a very hard time paying them, depending on how much $$$. Not everyone is well off enough to give to the church weekly or even monthly regularly at every parish. This one parish I speak of is usually on the Parish Christmas Wish list for tuition assistance for families. Unless of course this is his way of attacking “mega churches”. :rolleyes:

As for who voted him in again, I say probably the same type of low information voters that vote without researching the issues. If you read the comments on this article, someone pointed out that he won’t address the issues of gang violence ** in his own district**. There will never be anyone who is against abortion that would make it to the legislature in his district.


#7

Because we are the good guys.:wink:

While I agree this bill will fail. I can’t help feeling that some of these types of exemption /protections may fade with time. Many seem to think that religion is at best a quaint old custom that does little more than get in the way of their agenda. :rolleyes:


#8

Do atheist churches get a tax exemption too?


#9

The history is interesting if you care to look it up. Tax exemptions predate the US and fall into the whole “wall of seperation” thing. It prevents the government from using taxation to punish or persuade churches to their way of thinking. It also helps keep churches out of politics.

When government starts taxing churches, expect churches to get heavily into politics.


#10

Atheists incensed after IRS grants them tax exemption as religious group


#11

Thank you for the explanation. Makes sense. This way the priests cannot speak out about political issues or they lose tax exempt status. :thumbsup:


#12

Abortion, Euthanasia, etc…are MORAL issues and not political…so Priests have every right to speak about the CULTURE OF DEATH.

Its endorsing a specific candidate that would get them into trouble. Interesting how the churches that indirectly endorsed Obama got off scot free.


#13

Not quite. Priests as individuals can say and do anything they want political wise. But, as representatives of the Church, there are limits as to how much political activity they can get into. If I recall correctly, the Church is barred from supporting particular candidates.

The Bishops in Iowa have a political organization that is a separate entity from the Church. They can and do lobby and get involved with politics. (I’m not sure how all of the tax issues work out.)


#14

I guess if this bill passes the atheists won’t be incensed anymore. :shrug:


#15

Laughing out loud. Love it! :thumbsup:


#16

It wasn’t too long ago that the Italians realized the Catholic Church owned 20% of all real estate in the country. It paid property taxes on none of it even though a very sizable portion consisted of for-profit secular establishments like luxury resorts, sports centers, and shopping malls. An essential source of revenue for the State was disappearing because the nation’s real-estate has been slowly gobbled up by an exempt group. When that happens, its time to question the wisdom of no holds barred property tax exemption for religious groups. We obviously haven’t reached that point in the US yet but, in this day and age, I don’t see the point of it.


#17

No that’s not quite correct. They can speak on ISSUES, they just cannot appear to endorse or to discourage voting for a specific candidate. That being said, particularly during the 2008 election, a number of churches, particularly black churches hosted Obama and Hillary but no Republican candidate. Walking a bit close to the edge.

Other exempt organizations if religious in nature get the same exemption, for example in this state our Catholic and other religious hospitals are exempt. I see nothing wrong with this given they are expected and DO give millions in charity care. If the government would like to fund and staff hospitals to take on these folks in lieu of property tax exemptions, I bet they’d soon be sorry!

LIsa


#18

According to this recent article, Catholic hospitals do not give appreciably more in charity care than do other types of hospitals and, in fact, give less than some types which do not get tax exemptions.


#19

Mother Jones? :rotfl: Are you kidding? Hardly an unbiased source. Oh my goodness, I actually held my nose and read this screed…it’s all about suing the Bishops because Catholic hospitals will not provide abortions. Do we think they may have a teensy weensy agenda? Then there is the misleading comment about “receiving federal funds” as if hospitals are getting government grants. They get Medicare and Medicaid for providing MEDICAL SERVICES and at a low rate, usually a loss.

Further one thing about charity hospitals is that they don’t have to disclose charity care on a form 990 as do other charities. I assure you, our hospital gives millions and millions and millions every year in charity care.

Lisa

PS Somehow we got a free subscription to Mother Jones. I sent it back and said do not send us this trash ever again.


#20

Sounds like Ann Arbor Michigan, and the UofM.:rolleyes:


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