Canadian JWs voting YES on city tax-exemption poll

by Had Enough 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hi all:

    I just got an email today telling me of an email circulation among the JWs about an newspaper article in Coquitlam, British Columbia in Canada.

    Currently, the JWs are not exempt from paying city taxes. It reports that the Council is reviewing its policy on tax breaks to be given to certain groups. The email says that JWs are asking as many witnesses as possible to vote "yes" on the article's wesite and states: " "If you want to vote on it, it would help to give a good public response".

    It is already at 396 to 18 in favour of rescinding the law and begin giving the JWs a tax break and refund. Maybe we should help the Council along with their decision. You can also email the writer of this news article to give your reasons why JWs should not be exempt at [email protected]

    Here is a link to the site and to the far right of your screen, you can see box to make your vote.

    Here is the article in full: (red highlights are mine)

    By Janis Warren The Tri-City NewsSep 13 2006

    Coq. reviews tax policy, gives Jehovah?s a break
    The city of Coquitlam could potentially lose thousands of dollars a year in revenue if council changes the rules on municipal tax breaks. details

    The city of Coquitlam could potentially lose thousands of dollars a year in revenue if council changes the rules on municipal tax breaks.

    Currently, the city offers property tax exemptions to 48 non-profit groups and churches, totalling nearly $500,000.

    The Evergreen Cultural Centre gets the biggest tax relief at $132,685 a year followed by the Nature Trust at $34,451 and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada at $27,307.

    According to a staff report, the city determines the tax breaks based on the group?s or the church?s benefit to the community and its financial need.

    City resources for the following year are also taken into consideration, corporate manager Trevor Wingrove said.

    Monday, city council directed staff to write a draft policy that would formalize the criteria ?so we have guidelines rather than a ?Please apply and we will let you know,?? Coun. Richard Stewart said.

    Mayor Maxine Wilson said the city needs to adopt a more consistent approach to property tax exemptions that would include all non-profit groups, like the Royal Canadian Legion.

    Still, she cautioned council has to be ?financially responsible? and ?look at tax ramifications so we know what the loss is.?

    The direction to staff came after city council unanimously recommended to allow a request from the Westwood Congregation of the Jehovah?s Witnesses for a tax break for 2007.

    For the past two years, the Pipeline Road church was denied exemption from city council because an amended policy didn?t permit new exemptions.

    Coun. Barrie Lynch, who was on council when the vote was taken behind closed doors, said it was unfortunate the Westwood congregation ?got caught in a policy decision.?

    (The congregation sued on religious discrimination grounds but lost. However, the judge ordered Coquitlam city hall to reconsider its decision against the church).

    Monday?s decision, which is expected to be ratified at next week?s regular council meeting, will mean the congregation will receive a $1,700 tax break for 2007 as well as the return of $34,196 in back taxes.

    Meanwhile, city council also allowed a $5,000 tax break in 2007 for the Soojung Presbyterian Church, which has yet to build its facility on Hazel Drive, on Burke Mountain; a $28,000 tax exemption for the Belvedere Care Centre; and a $1,530 exemption for the Howe Sound Rehabilitation Services Society, on Greenbrier Place.

    But a bid by Planet Ice for a $68,000 tax break next year was turned down.

    General manager Dave Van Straten told council that Maple Ridge gives Planet Ice a break for its sports facility there. ?We?ll have to re-group and see what we can do now,? he said afterwards.

    Under the Community Charter, a bylaw must be passed by Oct. 31 for properties to be exempt for the following tax year.

    [email protected]

    Regards to all

    Had Enough (of the Sorry-I-haven't-posted-in-a-long-time class)

  • Satanus

    So much for jw neutrality in politics and leaving it in jehovah's hands.


  • ozziepost

    Thx foir posting this, Had Enough.


  • arwen

    I just voted......unfortunately the yes side is winning. Everyone try to go to this link and on the right side just click no.....

  • ozziepost

    The trouble with this poll question is that it easily confuses people:

    Should Coquitlam council rescind its decision to not grant a property tax exemption to the local Jehovah Witness church?

    Notice all the negatives - there's even a double negative!!! So the first negative outplays the next double negative?

    What do they mean?

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hey Ozzie: Nice to hear from you again. (A big Hiya to Mrs. Ozzie eh?)

    Yes this question is very confusing with the double-negative wording.

    To put it plainly for everyone, the JWs by law in that area, have to pay taxes, so for the past few years, the council's decision has has been to NOT grant the JWs to be tax exempt. The council is now trying to decide if they should change or recind their previous decision of NOT granting JWs exemption.

    So the opinion vote is:

    YES they should recind their previous decision and now allow JWs to be tax exempt or.....

    NO they should not recind the decision and keep the JWs paying taxes

    If the vote is YES..then JWs there will become tax exempt and not have to pay $1700 next year plus they will get a rebate for the previous years of tax paying.

    So...what do you people think? To keep the JWs paying taxes and supporting the community..then vote NO to any change in the present law. Right now the YES votes are way ahead so that could sway the council to make the JWs tax exempt next year.

    Had Enough

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Santanus says:

    So much for jw neutrality in politics and leaving it in jehovah's hands

    Yes. The fact that the JWs are sending out emails to get other JWs to vote was a puzzlement to me.

    I suppose they explain it away by saying they're only voting in an "opinion poll" and not the actual political vote. BUT...what they ARE doing is trying to influence public opinion by boosting the YES vote. That doesn't actually sound like being neutral to me.


    Thanks for voting. Every little bit helps.

    Had Enough

  • jwfacts

    What hypocrisy. JWs can not get involved with politics even when their lives are at stake such as in Malawi, but make an exception if it is to save the Organization money.

    I just sent this email to Janis;

    Hi Janis,

    I saw your article on giving Jehovah's Witnesses a tax break, and felt it worth responding. As a group Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to isolate themselves from ?the world?, apart from the evangelizing work that aims at growing their organization. They do not provide hospitals, schools or charities. The 2005 Annual report for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia shows they had revenue of $16,434,005 but the total listed under Shepherding (hospital information, legal support, humanitarian relief work) was only $1,391.

    Jehovah's Witnesses make use of Canadian infrastructure but do not give back to the Canadian system in the way mainstream religious groups do, so it is unfair for them demand equal recognition and tax breaks on the basis of religious or charity status.

    Kind Regards

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hi everyone:


    The JWs YES vote is still way ahead folks. They are trying hard to sway public opinion to get the council to change their current law which will then make the JWs tax exempt in this area.

    Every NO vote will help to keep JWs paying taxes to support the community instead of feeding off it.

    Just click on this link and look to the top far right of the page for the box to submit your vote.


    Had Enough

  • Legolas

    I just voted...And will be voting ALL day..If I am allowed by the site!...LOL

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