Godless in Chicago

New taxes to support churches and parochial schools take effect today

A series of new State taxes to support houses of worship, parochial schools and religious ministries go into effect today (Tuesday, September 1, 2009).

StMartindePorresChurch.jpg

Saint Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church, 5112 West Washington Boulevard, Chicago, where State Representative LaShawn Ford is on the Finance Council. A provision on page 342 of the Capital Bill, at Article 10, Section 1805, forces taxpayers to donate $140,000 to Representative Ford's church for "general infrastructure."

These unconstitutional taxes are part of the legislative package surrounding the 996-page Capital Bill, which was sponsored by Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan.

The new tax revenue will not be distributed equally to all churches, religious schools and ministries.  Rather, the General Assembly has designated a preference for specific religious organizations, while excluding all others entirely.

The new taxes, on such things as candy, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, violates Article I, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution, which states, in pertinent part, that "No person shall be required to ... support any ministry or place of worship against his consent, nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination..."

The taxes also violate Article X, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution, which states, in pertinent part, that the General Assembly shall never "make any appropriation or pay from any public fund, whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian purpose, or to help support any school [that is] controlled by any church; nor shall any grant of money ever be made by the State to any church."

The mainstream media talks about how the taxes will pay for such things as roads, bridges and schools, but nowhere, other than here, are you informed that a substantial portion of the new taxes go to pay for infrastructure at religious facilities.

My effort to complete research on every line item in the Capital Bill continues.  My lawsuit to stop this legislative crime spree will be filed later this month.

Please leave a comment, below, to let me know what you think, and tell your friends about this.

I look forward to your comments on this one, especially if it bothers you that you are being forced to pay taxes to politically connected churches and parochial schools.
 
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4 Comments

Josh said:

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Wow, this is a complete surprise, and an outrage! How is the mainstream press not covering this? Hello, Chicago Tribune...didn't you just dub yourself a watchdog? Looks like someone threw you a bone.

Nobody said:

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I might be Catholic, but I'm still a firm believer in separation of church and state. I find this law to be a horrible abuse of power by politicians. Had the taxes been spread out evenly (perhaps weighted by registered members) for all non-profits (not just churches) in the state, I might be less angry about this situation. But as it stands this is clearly just Illinois politicians being their usual selves.

gr8hands said:

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How do they just violate the clear letter and spirit of the law?

Rob Sherman said:

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I explained that in my August 3rd blog entry, "Madigan decision in Moment of Silence case due tomorrow."

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/godless-in-chicago/2009/08/madigan-decision-in-moment-of-silence-case-due-tomorrow.html

Here's what I said in that post:

The reality is, the Legislature could care less if anything they do is constitutional. As Speaker of the House Mike Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, famously told me on "The Rob Sherman Show on WJJG," two years ago when the Illinois House was considering over-riding ex-Governor Blagojevich's veto of the Student Prayer Act, "The Members of the House vote in favor of whatever Bills that they like, without regards to whether or not the Bill is constitutional. If the Bill is unconstitutional, they let the courts worry about it."

Steve Brown is also the guy who bitterly complained, a month ago in the (Springfield) State Journal-Register, "Who made Rob Sherman king?"

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