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Author Topic: Start Churches & Bible College  (Read 5724 times)

Luck

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Start Churches & Bible College
« on: February 26, 2010, 10:25:02 pm »

* I mentioned in another thread that I plan to start a Libertarian College soon, but I also want to start churches and a Bible College. But I don't necessarily want to call them that, except legally. Churches don't have to pay property taxes, so I think anyone who owns a house should consider forming a church. I want to work with http://HisHolyChurch.org for doing that. They're very Libertarian.
* The Bible College needs classroom space, partners, teachers and students. As I said, I doubt if I'll call it a bible college publicly, because the term probably has very limited appeal. I want to teach how to achieve Liberty. Religion is just to help support the ideal of Liberty for all.
* I'll be back from St. Louis on March 16 and plan to get started asap on my return.
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creaganlios

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 12:34:11 pm »

Luck, I think you need to slow down a bit and do a little research.  You are *not* correct in assuming that 'churches' do not have ot pay taxes.  In fact, property taxes in NH *can* be assessed by Towns in NH against religious institutions for revenue-producing activities.  Talk to the many Christian Camps and conference centers around the state that *do* pay property taxes.  I know of know 'house church' that has escaped property taxes.
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Luck

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NH Law on Church et al Exemptions from Property Taxes
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 02:41:41 pm »

* Is this slow enough? I don't plan on generating revenues by the way.
* I get the following on church, school & charity exemptions [I left out a few re the last] for NH from: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/RSA/html/V/72/72-23.htm
TITLE V
TAXATION
CHAPTER 72
PERSONS AND PROPERTY LIABLE TO TAXATION
Property Taxes
Section 72:23
    72:23 Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Exemption.
    III. Houses of public worship, parish houses, church parsonages occupied by their pastors, convents, monasteries, buildings and the lands appertaining to them owned, used and occupied directly for religious training or for other religious purposes by any regularly recognized and constituted denomination, creed or sect, organized, incorporated or legally doing business in this state and the personal property used by them for the purposes for which they are established.
    IV. The buildings and structures of schools, seminaries of learning, colleges, academies and universities organized, incorporated or legally doing business in this state and owned, used and occupied by them directly for the purposes for which they are established, including but not limited to the dormitories, dining rooms, kitchens, auditoriums, classrooms, infirmaries, administrative and utility rooms and buildings connected therewith, athletic fields and facilities and gymnasiums, boat houses and wharves belonging to them and used in connection therewith, and the land thereto appertaining but not including lands and buildings not used and occupied directly for the purposes for which they are organized or incorporated, and the personal property used by them directly for the purposes for which they are established, provided none of the income or profits are divided among the members or stockholders or used or appropriated for any other purpose than the purpose for which they are organized or established; provided further that if the value of the dormitories, dining rooms and kitchens shall exceed $150,000, the value thereof in excess of said sum shall be taxable. A town at an annual town meeting or the governing body of a city may vote to increase the amount of the exemption upon dormitories, dining rooms and kitchens.
    V. The buildings, lands and personal property of charitable organizations and societies organized, incorporated, or legally doing business in this state, owned, used and occupied by them directly for the purposes for which they are established, provided that none of the income or profits thereof is used for any other purpose than the purpose for which they are established.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 09:00:53 pm by Luck »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 07:10:20 pm »

So which 'regularly recognized and constituted denomination' are you going to incorporate under?
And will you be paying rent to the non-profit corporation?

What Thom may be stating, is its a lot more complex process than you might be presenting in your post.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 07:55:29 pm by John Edward Mercier »
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Luck

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Forming a Church [& Bible College]
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 08:58:05 pm »

* I don't actually expect to need sections IV and V above, just section III. I plan to go with http://hisholychurch.org/declarations/index.php, an organization founded by Gregory Williams, I believe; and he seems to be very knowledgeable on legal matters. I'm fairly knowledgeable myself.
* By the way, avoiding property taxes isn't a major goal. It's just a very minor aspect of the church & college. I welcome anyone to start a church at their homes and be exempt from property taxes, but the main purpose of the church and college is achieving true liberty for all, partly by reforming the government, as possibly suggested in Rev. 11:15.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2010, 09:13:02 pm by Luck »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 07:58:02 pm »

Section Three is the one I quoted.
The others cover more than just religion, as tax exemptions... including property... can be had for many different reasons.
The religious one seems to be the hardest.
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maxxoccupancy

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 09:33:41 pm »

You should use the Geneva Bible--the anti-King, anti-government one, and always read the passages from the Old Testament that emphasize anarchy and those from the New Testament demanding personal responsibility. ;D

Actually, there are a lot of churches in Seabrook, and most don't get used much--if at all--during the week.  You can run a non-profit outfit (like a school, university, or library) during the week, and help the church raise some revenue to stay open.  In other words, rent out the church from 8am-4pm throughout the week, still getting all of the tax breaks and exemptions.
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Luck

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 11:28:24 am »

Do you think any of those churches use the Geneva Bible? Those are the ones I'd approach first.
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Uncle Walt

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 12:07:32 pm »

Don't forget to pay your FEDERAL taxes, though.   ;D

The IRS has quite different rules, as to how a church is exempt from taxation.  And I'm pretty sure they frown on churches that teach any political viewpoint, on a regular basis.  Which is why we seldom hear political "rabble rousing" from the pulpit, anymore ... the church is afraid of losing it's (federal) tax-exempt status.
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Luck

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 09:25:58 pm »

At http://hisholychurch.org it's explained somewhere, I think, that churches don't need IRS recognition to operate and be tax-exempt. The law says that I think at Title 26, Section 501 c 3 or very near there. Churches that do get IRS recognition are the ones that are threatened, if they make any political statements.
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Uncle Walt

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 10:03:34 am »

Of course they need IRS recognition to be tax-exempt.  Since the IRS is the agency that determines whether you meet the qualifications or not.  A church doesn't need IRS recognition, unless it wishes to be tax-exempt.  Then you have to file forms with the IRS to claim 501(c)(3) status. 

Of course, I also don't know when the last time an IRS Agent attended a church service.   ;D

Unfortunately, the First Amendment wouldn't be a defense until after the church exhausted time and money going through the (unConstitutional) IRS "tax courts".
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 10:06:35 am by Uncle Walt »
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 06:37:36 pm »

The First wouldn't protect income or property from taxation.
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2010, 06:40:33 pm »

At http://hisholychurch.org it's explained somewhere, I think, that churches don't need IRS recognition to operate and be tax-exempt. The law says that I think at Title 26, Section 501 c 3 or very near there. Churches that do get IRS recognition are the ones that are threatened, if they make any political statements.
Correct. They agree to not being politically active... so violating that agreement returns them to taxable status.
But the religious format is one of the harder ways to achieve what your trying. A simply charter school would work... even a virtual one.


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Luck

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 12:56:51 pm »

* Governments in the U.S. have no power to establish religions, therefore churches are not subject to governmental regulation. The following is what Gregory Williams has written at http://www.hisholychurch.net/study/bklt/bodyofchrist.pdf - and there's more there on the subject, if anyone wants still more information.

- I have been [told] many times that all churches must file 1023 forms and become tax-exempt as a 501c(3) church. People say we are required to apply for tax-exempt status as a 501c(3) church because “it is the law.” Is it the LAW? Is it required by law or statute or regulation or rule that a church must apply to the state or be established by the state as a corporation of the State? What is required to become exempt?
- The Internal Revenue states:
“The following organizations will be considered tax exempt under section 501c(3) even if they do not file Form 1023: (a) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches,…”1
- “Some organizations are not required to file form 1023. These include: Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or association of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group.”
- “These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501c(3).
- However, if the organization wants to establish its exemption with the Internal Revenue Service and receive a ruling or determination letter recognizing its exempt status, it should file Form 1023 with the key District Director.”2
- By these rules, we can see that churches are ‘automatically exempt and are not required to file’. One publication does go on to say that “these organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements”. Two questions should be asked:
First, what are those requirements?
Second, what is included in the classification of “organization”? Note that the publication does not say that ‘churches’ are exempt if they meet the requirements, but only that ‘organizations are exempt.’
- The same Section of 557 states,
“If Organizations that have a statutory requirement to apply for recognition do not comply with the requirements relating to exemption applications, deductions for charitable contributions will not be allowed for any gifts or bequests made to those organizations.”
- Again, note the use of the words, “organizations” and “statutory requirement to apply.” None of this refers to churches which are not required to file, nor does it refer to true “church” organizations. All churches are organizations, but not all organizations are churches. Is the word, “religious” used merely as a descriptive word to describe a type of organization or the source of its authority that established it? Are there any regulations, rules, or statutes that determine approval if you do decide to apply to be religiously exempt as a CHURCH?
- Department of Revenue and the I.R.S. state:
“In order to determine whether recognition of exemption should appropriately be extended to an organization seeking to meet the religious purposes test of section 501c(3), the Internal Revenue Service maintains two basic guidelines:
1) That the particular religious beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held, and
2) That the practices and rituals associated with the organization’s religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy.”3
- On the same page of that publication, we see phrases like, “If you are organized to operate a home for the aged, the following information must be submitted:” Or if you are a scientific organization, “You must show…” etc. But for religious organizations, there are only ‘two basic guidelines’ which are merely ‘maintained’ by the Internal Revenue Service. These mere guidelines are maintained only ‘to determine whether recognition of exemption should appropriately be extended to an organization seeking to meet the religious purposes test.’
- Are there actual statutory regulations defining churches or their requirements to apply? The I.R.S. rules and codes are not statutes and have no authority of law in themselves. They are based upon the USCS, but the I.R.S. makes no mention of statutory requirement for churches. “The regulations do not define the term ‘church’ and Congress has given no guidance in this area.”4
- Regulations do not exist for religions or churches because there is no power granted to government to regulate or establish religions.

1 “Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” under “Purpose of Form,” section “2. Organizations not Required to file Form 1023. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service.
2 Department of the Treasury, I.R.S., Pub. 557 Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization. Chapt. 3 Page 9
3 Department of the Treasury, I.R.S., Pub. 557 Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization. Chapt. 3 Page 14.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 01:04:18 pm by Luck »
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maxxoccupancy

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Re: Start Churches & Bible College
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2010, 03:07:19 pm »

Do you think any of those churches use the Geneva Bible? Those are the ones I'd approach first.

Rep. Itse is always promoting the Geneva Bible and libertarianism.  In fact, he believes that the early republic's commitment to liberty is derived from this rather unique view of religion.

As far as the church goes, I wouldn't mind just renting out an existing church building for M-F daytime operation.  Those are the hours that most churches just sit unattended.  Some are used as private schools, but you could run a daytime school for almost anything.  If you're teaching history, no one can claim that this is political.
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