Re: Religious exemptions/denial of use of facilities
Bob Vincent (rbvincent@LINKNET.NET)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 08:38:47 -0500
Jason Cruse wrote:
> (snip) Here in Missouri, for example, non-profit organizations can't
> do money raising projects on church property. Technically, we can't even
> talk about popcorn with members of local congregations on Sunday. Car
> washes, dinners, anything done to raise money for a troop can't be done
> the property of a church, or else that congregation might lose its
> tax-exempt status.
I'm curious: have you personally seen the tax law in an official
publication of the state of Missouri, and have you had a tax attorney
interpret it for you? Synagogues and churches all over America hold all
kinds of events to raise money. The best Reuben sandwich I ever had was at
a fundraiser held by our local Reformed synagogue.
Where this issue gets sticky is when some rascal decides to go into
business but first is ordained through some mail order outfit and then
calls his business a church: The First Church of the Philly Cheese Steak.
In order to preclude this kind of thing, state legislatures write fairly
specific laws, but I can't imagine that a generally conservative state such
as Missouri would have such sweeping tax legislation. The question that is
usually posed has to do with the primary purpose of the corporation.
United Way, for example, raises money but only keeps a small percentage for
administration purposes. Whereas, Reverend Bogus' enterprise is simply a
scam to protect assets from taxation. Federal, state and local tax
agencies have the right to audit the books of any organization, including
Never assume that the oral statement of a government official is factual;
always get it in writing, on official stationary with the official's
signature affixed. If the person refuses (That's unlikely, because it will
lead to a hassle; procrastination is the preferred bureaucratic management
tool.), it is likely that he/she is either unsure of the law, knows that
his/her supervisor is incompetent, or simply fears the unknown hassle the
letter may bring down the road.
Hope this helps.
Yours in Scouting,
Robert Benn Vincent, Sr.
Beaver from Philmont's last Walking Woodbadge (94)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City