Stop subsidizing the churches

Tax exemption notices show religious institutions ride free.

Dear editor,

Hospital parking fees has been atop the local news of late, and suggestions of raising property taxes even higher to subsidize the users, are inappropriate. Ratepayers are already at the affordability limit.

Coincidentally, tax exemption notices show religious institutions ride free. Rather than pricing young families and seniors out with more tax hikes, how about these religious organizations sacrifice a bit to pay for part of it? Between communities served by the new hospitals, religious exemptions in the six-figure range annually could tremendously impact parking costs to those who actually need help.

Many religious organizations connect to larger organizations holding billions of dollars of cash, assets, and property, and don’t need taxpayers subsidies. While some support charitable initiatives, many getting subsidized do little community benefit except evangelizing, without obligation to show subsidy spending.

In democracy people are free to adhere to any beliefs. Citizens shouldn’t be forced to surreptitiously support any religion they disbelieve in or find abhorrent nonsense, preaching against minority groups, and actively attacking basic rights as free speech, abortion, and assisted dying. There’s no choice with forced taxpayer subsidization. It’s time to re-examine the tradition of subsidizing ideologies in which a small and shrinking number of people partake. As Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Ideally ALL religious subsidization should stop, but beginning with property tax exemptions is a great start. These organizations will continue reaping huge financial benefits from other tax exemptions, while the proportionally small number of people in these organizations can still support them financially and receive a significant tax refund, thus still receiving huge taxpayer subsidies.

Tim Chaisson

Courtenay

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

A school of Engel Völkers salmon to support Kus-kus-sum Project in the Comox Valley

Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island North and their associated advisors are decorating… Continue reading

Speed-date nights come to the Comox Valley

Two nights set for Oct. 24 and 25 at the Comox Valley Curling Club

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read