...Technically the congregation owns it...
If construction / maintenance work needs doing and bills need paying, then the local congregation has responsibility.
If property is sold and money needs depositing into a bank account, the WTS will "step up".
Good deal! (for them)
I understand what's being said here. But if jws stick to the model the WTS uses of the nation of Israel, they donated a tithe to support the temple without any idea that the temple belonged to them. So once a jw donates money to the "cause" in any way, it is not theirs any more in my mind. I am currently organizing my new year donations to various charities I feel I can help. I don't feel I own any part of that organization, etc. I use the laws that make sure my money goes to the people intended.
So if you are currently a jw, stop donating. Take your money and use it in a practical and purposeful way. If you are no longer a jw, I assume you are not donating any more. And if you family/friends are, it's their money to spend as stupidly as they want. Be glad you are no longer held hostage by the WTS.
Well, an early new years rant....Love, Blondie
I was long gone as an elder when the new arrangement started, but this is my understanding of how it works:
The Cong forms a Corporation (preferably) or Trust with 3 elders as Directors or Trustees. These elders are officially nominated and voted to old the position by the baptized Cong publishers. The bi-laws of the Corp or Trust however, allows the WTS to remove and replace the Directors or Trustees at will (to avoid another Menlo Park fiasco). Plus any proceeds from the sale of the KHall goes to WTS. Thus the KHall is not officially owned by WTS but they can take (have) control of everything about it.
This may have changed. Or it may be different after a KHall was remodeled or for newly built KHalls. Some years back every BOE was directed to get their new by-laws up-to-date to protect WTS. I'm sure this would have been part of the procedure when all loans were "forgiven".
Because that congregation w/trustees in a local non-profit the congregation, under the laws of the US IRS, they merely act as trustees, even the trustees do not have ownership.
The WTS as the parent non-profit takes control when they dissolve the local non-profit but merely to act as trustees, not as owners, so that legally, no one of the trustees can access funds for personal uses. Believe people at Bethel watch things like hawks that some benefit and they do not.
I am not naïve to think that there aren't ways around the finances, religions, corporations, government agencies do it and individuals do it, but their are laws if they get caught.
If you see a GB member riding around in a fancy new car, it can be because:
1) Some jw donated his older car to him or bought him a new car and took it off on taxes
2) A family member died and left it to them
3) They used money from green handshakes to buy it wholesale from a jw car dealer (with a big discount)
4) But not because he has his hand in the WT till....