Back in ’04 I was trying to find a derelict property with which to create a Trans shelter/counseling center since many of my brothers and sisters have no place to go safely in the Metro area. I kept running across property after property that was idle, but most of them were “owned” by churches and no-name non-profits. It’s hard to line up funding for such projects if one can’t find a place to base the concept in.
In one of my more curious modes I started searching the property database for who owned what and whether it was tax exempt or not. I didn’t make it through the entire list, but my results showed that almost 50% of the properties I went through were tax exempt, yet nothing was being done with the property. Others had hair/nail salons or other businesses that had NOTHING to do with the mission of the “owners” of the properties.The City and the citizens of said city were getting fucked over by this situation. Why should I pay property taxes on my place only to see a salon operating on a tax free basis?
Last week the City Council voted 6 to 0 on ordering the Assessors’ offices to re-examine the uses to which these non-profit properties had been employed. This has been tried in the Past, but the howls from the cross-wearing crowd and the sham non-profits drowned out any chance of change being brought about. Their bottom line was being threatened. Their milking of those of us who actually did pay our fair share under the Social Contract was going to be dried up. Their gravy train would end.
All of these efforts to equalize the City’s tax base went for naught and our city has suffered for that.
Why the Hell must we tax-paying folk have to subsidize these tax-exempt fucks, especially when the properties in question are not performing the functions under which the limits for tax free usage demands? Why should someone like myself, who does not utilize “religeous” places, be forced to pay for their share of infrastructure costs? Parks, Public schools and government buildings I have no problem with funding… they exist for all of us, but why must I pay for that which does not mean a damn thing to me or my life?
Centers of religion I have no objection to when it comes to property taxes. It’s just the outside operations, both religious and secular, that have no purpose other than to generate money becomes a business to my mind. Businesses pay taxes.
It’s time we separated religion and City here in New Orleans. Fair is fair, and for those of us busting our tushes off trying to rebuild this is a necessity.
Support the City Council in this matter. Demand transparency when it comes to determine “use” of property. Don’t back down to pressure from those who will not shoulder their part of the burden when it comes to running our home.
This is fraud… and it is extortion. This is one of the ways that some can suck off the lives of the many. It is not right, and the problem must be corrected no matter how much a certain segment of the population screams and wails.