Tags: Tax | Defiance | Costs | Flock | Its | Church

Tax Defiance Costs Flock Its Church

Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM

According to the Indianapolis Star:

The foreclosure stems from the Indianapolis Baptist Temple's refusal to withhold employees' income taxes and to pay the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Although the nonprofit status of churches exempts them from corporate income tax and local property taxes, numerous court rulings have required churches to comply with general tax regulations.

The Indianapolis church had stopped filing the required tax returns, and refuses to withhold and pay payroll taxes.

On Monday, Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist declined to stay a lower federal judge's foreclosure order.

District Judge Sarah Evans Barker gave the church until noon Tuesday to vacate its property, which it failed to do.

She has authorized the Marshal's Service to use whatever force is needed to take possession of the facilities.

But the marshals did not act immediately, giving the church time to hold a somber prayer service shortly before noon Tuesday.

With 500 in attendance, it was defiantly anti-government.

"They can take our church, but they cannot take our convictions," said the Rev. Greg A. Dixon, the church's pastor.

"Where are the federal marshals?" his father, the Rev. Greg J. Dixon asked. "They are not going to come when the people are here. They will slip in at night."

The drama has attracted supporters from outside the congregation, including private militia groups.

James "Bo" Gritz, a former Green Beret now a leader in the Patriot Movement, conducted his radio show from the church sanctuary militia members with walkie-talkies roamed the building.

Disavowing violence, church leaders nonetheless said they would not leave the building voluntarily.

The pastor said his church will survive even if it doesn't remain open. Foreclosure by the government will only drive his church underground, he said.

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According to the Indianapolis Star: The foreclosure stems from the Indianapolis Baptist Temple's refusal to withhold employees' income taxes and to pay the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Although the nonprofit status of churches exempts them from...
Tax,Defiance,Costs,Flock,Its,Church
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2000-00-15
Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM
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