Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does a Jamaica church owe property taxes?

From the NY Post:

The city is investigating how a Greek Orthodox church in Queens has avoided paying at least eight years’ worth of property taxes on a discount store it owns.

“We are investigating the case to determine what our options are,” Department of Finance spokesman Owen Stone said.

One city official said the back taxes would likely add up to several hundred-thousand dollars.

St. Demetrios Church, at 84-35 152nd St. in Jamaica, is also operating its Parsons Discount Store two blocks away without a Certificate of Occupancy, according to city records — a violation the Department of Buildings plans to review this week.

Records show the 85-year-old church has owned the store since 2004, but has never paid a dime to the city because it claimed the shop was a nonprofit, which would exempt it from property taxes. The city maintains the store is a profit-making business.

The Department of Finance started sending tax bills only earlier this year, after launching a citywide investigation into nonprofits scamming the city.

At that time, the church did not renew its nonprofit status for the store and was quickly issued a $19,202.81 bill, which is now past due.

One longtime member of the parish said investigators from both the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the IRS visited his home recently to ask questions about church finances. The DA declined comment and the IRS did not return calls for comment.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see what George the Atheist has to say about this one...
Personally, I believe we could put a big dent in the national deficit if we taxed the churches.

Queens Crapper said...

Why would we tax institutions that run hospitals, day care, schools, soup kitchens, etc? They are providing a service that taxpayers would be forced to if they weren't in operation.

Anonymous said...

Well said crapper.

A better idea would be mandatory drug testing for those who receive welfare and/or public housing. Ex: If one fails a drug test; food stamps get revoked for a month and that failure has to go to a food pantry to eat(likely to be run by a church you say should be taxed). Fail more than once then your free housing gets revoked and that druggy can take himself and his "babymomma" to a homeless shelter.

Oh and BTW, this is already being done with great success in Florida. Instead of bloomturd getting ideas from London, maybe he should look to some of our own cities and states for guidance.

Anonymous said...

Answer to this kind of these tax evasion problems

there is NOTHING
in the US Constitution that forbids this.

Half of the Korean "churches" will close overnight.

Most are just tax scams.
Reverend Sun Myung moon taught them well.

Anonymous said...

"Why would we tax institutions that run hospitals, day care, schools, soup kitchens, etc? They are providing a service that taxpayers would be forced to if they weren't in operation."

Because most of those services are funded by government grants anyway i.e. taxpayer funded anyway. Churches are nominally not for profits.When the DO make money they should be taxed on it just as we all are. that's why

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, religious not for profits are swimming in dough. That's why there are no Catholic hospitals left in the city.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Floyd Flake of Jamaica Seems to be doing well with his not for profits
Churches have been sucking at the public teat for generations tax 'em all...

Anonymous said...

The president of this parish council, WON a Mercedes Benz during a raffle to support the church and school. And, unbelievable, but the next year her husbandWON a brand new Mercedes Benz. Lucky bastards!!! What great luck the President, Faye Pappas, and her husband have!