Skip to comments.City Fines Archdiocese of San Francisco $14.4 Million
Posted on 12/02/2009 7:43:35 AM PST by markomalley
The City of San Francisco is hard up for cash, so theyve decided to steal it from the Archdiocese of San Francisco because they can nakedly, in broad daylight, without the slightest plausible legal pretense. The Church is openly hated and condemned in San Francisco for its support of Proposition 8 and its defense of human sexual morality in general. The City can steal from the Archdiocese because the City needs the money and because it makes the citizenry happy to stick it to the evil Catholic Church.
Heres some backstory from a previous post:
When you sell a piece of property in many California jurisdictions, including San Francisco, the seller must pay a rather exhorbitant tax for the privilege which is based upon the value of the property. It is akin to a sales tax on a home or commercial property.
The San Francisco Archdiocese owns hundreds of lots in San Mateo, Marin and San Francisco counties. The exceedingly vast majority of these properties are the lots which make up a parish plant, i.e., church, school, parish hall, parking lot, rectory. . .
The Archdiocese has historically held title to these properties under two names - The Roman Catholic Welfare Corporation and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, a Corporation Sole.
In December, 2007, San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer announced a corporate restructuring within the archdiocese and by May 2008, almost all properties in question had been consolidated under the title of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Parish and School Juridic Persons Juridic Property Support Corp.
Since this is not a sale or transfer to a different organization or person, no transfer tax is invoked and no transfer tax has ever been invoked in the history of the state for such a transaction.
That is, until City Assessor Phil Ting gauged the likely public reaction to an outright theft from the Prop. 8 supporting Catholic Church and realized it would not only be profitable, but popular. Last year Ting, unlike assessors in Marin and San Mateo Counties, decided to charge the Archdiocese a transfer tax on all Archdiocesan properties in San Francisco. This includes properties such as Mission Dolores, which have been owned by the Church since before there was a State of California or a taxing authority in San Francisco.
They are still owned by the Church. No money changed hands. Yet, the City is charging the Archdiocese the second largest real estate transfer tax in history, as if the Archdiocese were a real estate investor selling a profitable high-rise office building.
The Archdiocese appealed Tings decision to an appeal board which yesterday agreed to take $14.4 million from the Church. The Archdiocese will now take the issue to court. Archdiocesan spokesperson Maury Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle:
The board members, all of whom are City Hall administrators rather than members of the judiciary, apparently faced tremendous pressure in view of the city's desperate need for revenue . . . We are glad that having exhausted the required administrative process we can finally proceed to a formal, neutral civil court forum . . . We trust that the civil court will carefully consider the applicable law, devoid of the sensationalism and politics that the archdiocese thus far has faced.
Pray for the persecuted Church in San Francisco. This is just one of many assaults the Church has suffered there recently. Hat Tip to A Shepherds Voice who has more background here and especially here.
The city of SF are biting off more than they can chew. All hell will break loose.
The archbishop should tell the city of SF to pound sand...and to do it often.
Just like in The Castro.
This will soon be happening with all religious real estate tax exemptions as it did with zoning regulations. The only exemptions will be for secular non-profits and education institutions.
In Pittsburgh, since they can't go after the education institutions, they are going after the students.
This is Archbishop Niederhauer, Nancy Pelosi’s bishop. You might hear a tiny impotent squeek, if you really strain. I hope I am wrong and the Archbishop suprises the heck outta me.
Secular entities come and go ... the Church endures.
He needs your prayers. So does Archbishop Wuerl in Washington, DC. May God protect and strengthen them.
Yesterday there was a story on this site about public orgies at city-sponsored events in San Francisco ...
... and they fine the church.
I am still waiting for taxing authorities to tax the large endowments excess income and capital gains just like they do for commercial entities. Of course I am also taking out long term health care insurance so I will be around when that happens.
sounds like a dandy Bill of Attainder case with nasty overtones of religious bigotry to me
In Pittsburgh, since they can’t go after the education institutions, they are going after the students.
The latest is that the Mayor is offering to drop this proposal IF the colleges and univesities are willing to “VOLUNTARILY” hand over $16 million.
All that is missing are the gun and the Jesse James mask...
(I hope Pittsburgh City Council does not read this article about San Fran. They are likewise desperate for cash, increasingly dominated by leftist loons, and the Catholic Church owns beaucoup property in Pittsburgh)
I don't think Pittsburgh City Council will pull the same stunt as SF; too much of the D base in Pittsburgh is also Catholic.
Easy - sell them off and get out of Sodom.
The Archbishop and the Catholic Church will win.
Why would the county, city, mayor, assessor even want to stray into church law? They know it’s illegal. LOL!
OH MAN Frisco going be so smack around by courts on that
...and the bishops are OK with government dictating the delivery of healthcare services...if fact, as Dolan says, “we’ve wanted it for years.”
What was funny is that a group of trustee's for a historical cemetery sued saying “What do you want us to do, dig them up?”.
The Iowa courts have suspended the fees for now. But I figure it will start again soon.
Oh well, the Church is much more than the building. Something we in the West have often forgotten.
This isn't Church law, it is corporate law. The property transfer was between to corporations, and will be treated as such.
I have seen the headaches this causes on a local parish/congregation level. And this was in a place with sane non profit corporation laws. Would hate to see what happens in a place like San Fran.
But I do wonder --- if these daughter corporations were incorporated under Non Profit Corporate Religious, then would not the property be exempt from property tax generally, as are Corporate Sole?
On the other hand;
Why the change from Corp. Sole, anyway? Why divest control and responsibility to other ecclesiastic bodies? To indemnify the Corporate Sole?
Still owned by "the Church" it is argued? What Church? Where?
The LEGAL owner is whoever or whatever corporation's name IS ON THE DEED OF TITLE. Any doubting this need brush up on their Blackstone, enough to dig out the full how and why Corp. Sole was recognized in the first place.
That being said, why would a Non Profit Corporate Religious (if that is what the daughter corps were incorporated as) need pay ANY tax on transfer of property? They most certainly are not taxed on monetary donations.
I do hope the City's case craters. Totally, irrevocably, and end up in the published citations, in such a way to create a yet stronger bulwark of protection for ecclesiastical orgs., in general.
Please pray with me that this be so.
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