Friday, January 04, 2008

Churches Could Lose Property Tax Exemption

There's a meeting happening in Brampton, Ontario today - a meeting involving the leaders of a number of religious faiths including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Sikhs. The meeting is to formulate a response to a plan by the City of Brampton to start levying property taxes on places of worship. A study done by the City of Brampton last summer recommended some major changes to the way churches, temples, and mosques are treated by the municipal government. Right now all of those properties are exempt from property taxes. The City of Brampton, on the western edge of Toronto, wants to change that, leaving only the worship space itself as tax exempt. That means, in the case of Christian churches, that the floor space occupied by a sanctuary would be tax exempt. But even the stage or pulpit area might not be. And certainly the church offices, fellowship hall, kitchen, or nursery space would become taxable........

The City also wants to impose some severe restrictions on smaller, so-called "house churches". Under that part of the plan, regularly-scheduled weekly gatherings of more than 20 people - children included - would be banned from residential areas..........

More information at www.noapologies.ca/daily-news