To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

Church Wins Big Tax Victory: Could Benefit All Churches in California

Steve Warren : Oct 23, 2018  CBN News

"Hopefully this case will send a message to other cities that they cannot willfully ignore churches' rights under the California Constitution in order to generate revenue." -Brad Dacus

airlift(San Rafael, CA)— [CBN News] In a case that could benefit all churches in California, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) convinced the Marin County Superior Court to declare a voter-approved local property tax unconstitutional when it was applied to a local church. (Photo via CBN News)

Represented by PJI attorneys, Valley Baptist Church filed a civil lawsuit against the City of San Rafael in response to the city's Paramedic Services Special Tax. At issue were two questions of law, according to PJI. One, whether the Paramedic Tax is a property tax, as opposed to an excise tax; and two, if the tax is, in fact, a property tax, whether its status as a voter-approved "special tax" allows the City to skirt the California Constitution's provision exempting buildings that are used exclusively for religious worship from taxation.

The answer to the first question was "yes," as liability for the Paramedic Tax is triggered by mere ownership of real property, as opposed to a particular use of the property, and is due annually.

The answer to the second question was "no," as the court held that the California Constitution exempts buildings used for religious worship from property taxation in all its forms, not just ad valorem taxes, which are levied on property in proportion to its value as determined by assessment or appraisal.

Based on these points, the court held that the Paramedic Tax was unconstitutional as applied to Valley Baptist. The court also ordered the City to refund the $13,644 in taxes that the Church had to pay to the City as a condition of filing the lawsuit, along with interest at a rate of 3 percent per annum.

"Jesus said to render to Caesar that which is Caesar's," PJI Attorney Ray Hacke, who served as Valley Baptist's attorney, said in a press release citing Matthew 22:21. "He said nothing about letting Caesar reach into churches' pockets to take that which does not belong to him. That's what the City of San Rafael tried to do here by ignoring California's tax exemption for church buildings, and PJI made sure the city didn't get away with it."

Valley Baptist's victory could have implications for both cities and churches statewide—especially if an appellate court affirms the trial court's ruling. As one of the cases Hacke cited in his trial briefs noted, cities have an obvious incentive to re-label their taxes to get around the California Constitution's provision exempting church buildings from taxation.

"The Legislature has declared that church buildings are exempt from property taxation, and cities have a duty to honor that," PJI President Brad Dacus said in a press release. "The City of San Rafael chose not to, and hopefully this case will send a message to other cities that they cannot willfully ignore churches' rights under the California Constitution in order to generate revenue." Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here.







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

Trump Says Dem. Governors Are Not Treating Churches with Respect: 'I Want to Get Our Churches Open'

Devastating Mississippi Church Fire Investigated as Arson, Misspelled Graffiti Left Behind Read: 'I Bet You Stay Home Now You Hypokrits'

Sen. Tim Scott Fires Back after Biden Says You 'Ain't Black' if You Vote for Trump

Judge Hands Michigan Gov. Whitmer a Victory in Battle With Lawmakers over COVID Lockdown Orders

'Cardiac Arrests up 800 Percent': 600+ Doctors Warn Lockdowns Doing Much More Damage Than COVID

Dr. Corinne: Finding Your 'Why?'; The Motivation You Need to Get and Stay Healthy

Tiffany Trump Graduates from Law School; President Tweets: 'Proud of You, Tiff!'

'GO 2020:' Global Movement Aims to Reach 1 Billion on Pentecost Sunday

Memorial Day: a Day to Honor Those Who've Made the Ultimate Sacrifice Defending America

Alveda King on 'AKA Jane Roe'; 'They Interviewed Norma and Took Her Words Out of Context'

Intercessors For America: A Prophetic Word for the Unmasking of the Cover-Up

'They Manipulated Her Many Years Ago and Are Doing It After Her Death': FX Doc on Jane Roe Deemed 'Patently False'

Feds Demand Planned Parenthood Return $80 Million They Illegally Acquired COVID-19 Aid

US Calls Out UN for Saying Abortion is 'Essential': America Will 'Protect the Unborn'

Declassified Susan Rice Email Confirms Michael Flynn Was Personally Targeted In Oval Office Meeting

Confirmation Vote, Sped Up by Democrats, Threatens to Cut Short Richard Grenell's Declassification Spree

Kindness: Man Builds a Mini Home for a Homeless Elderly Woman

CBN's Exclusive Interview with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: Armed for Battle with God on Her Side

President Trump Signs Executive Order Cutting Federal Regulations to Spur Economic Growth for Faster Recovery

Ukraine Judge Orders Joe Biden Be Listed as Alleged Perpetrator of Crime in Prosecutor's Firing



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 
BCN Contact Info

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com