San Francisco assessor Phil Ting has called for the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco to hand over $15 million in taxes because of an internal restructuring of the archdiocese, a move that some are describing as "retaliation" for the Church's opposition to Proposition 8.
Ting concluded that the Catholic Church owed the city taxes after the archdiocese was restructured and its property, which is almost all used by parish facilities, was consolidated seven months ago.
The Catholic archdiocese immediately filed legal action and questioned the precedent for Ting's decision. "Phil Ting has taken a step that is unprecedented in the history of the state of California. He has determined that an internal reorganization of church property, within the family of corporations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, constitutes a 'sale' and is subject to a property transfer tax," archdiocese spokesman Maurice Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle. "A tax on transfers of property, all owned by the Catholic Church, within the same family of Archdiocesan corporations, is unprecedented in the history of the state of California and the law is overwhelmingly in our favor on this subject," said Healy.
Many are decrying the move as retaliation for the Catholic Church's support for a YES vote on Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one women. Some San Francisco residents and politicians are angry at the Catholic Church and other religious groups for supporting Proposition 8. The call to tax the Catholic and Mormon churches, which helped propel Proposition 8 fund raising and campaigning, became a mantra of same-sex "marriage" supporters ever since the amendment passed in November.
Jack Smith of the Catholic Key blog suggested that Ting, who supports “gay marraige”, declared at a “No on 8 rally”, that he was proud to have signed several same-sex marriage certificates.
It is also reported that in June 2008, Ting officiated at at least one same-sex wedding. From Sing Tao Daily:
“Phil Ting spoke after the ceremony and said that he is very glad to marry gay and lesbian couples and very happy to see the day that the California government will allow their gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.”
It seems that Phil Ting likes to promote “gay marriage” and is angry that the Catholic Church supported a YES vote on Prop 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one women. He is now attempting to punish the church financially through the use of his political position.
Links to similar articles
Catholic Key Prop 8 Pay back against Church
A Shepherds Voice City of San Francisco goes after ChurchLife Site San Francisco Set to Tax Catholic Church Millions in Suspected Prop 8 Retaliation
Kingfisher Column $15 Million Dollar Thought Tax