Comments about ‘Temple tax: European court rules LDS Church must pay local property tax for Preston England temple’

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Published: Wednesday, March 5 2014 9:05 a.m. MST

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Mchenry, IL

I agree. It is not a public house of worship and should be required to pay the property tax required for charitable entities.

Eagle Mountain, UT

The court is 100% wrong in its decision. Public buildings are not open to the general public all the time, and many have dress or other requirements that must be met before entry is allowed. That is just a convenient excuse to chip away at the moral fabric of our society.

People that disagree should really take an honest look (unlikely) at why churches get an exemption. It's not because it is a public place, it's because the positive social and charitable benefits of most churches far outweigh the paltry amount the government can collect from taxes. In the LDS church 100% of the charitable donations received are used for the intended purpose. Agencies like the Red Cross and UNICEF return in the 70% range and governments return less then 50%. And the quality of service far exceeds that of the other agencies. People that wish "equal taxes" on religions should be careful because they may get what they wish for.

Once the churches have lost their exempt status other exempt institutions will follow, much to the detriment of our society. And all to line the pockets of the government.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

Typical european nonsense. Maybe this kangaroo court will charge property taxes on all Mormon GI gravesites.

American Fork, UT

The tax assessment can't be that bad. Call it a warehouse; those things seldom have many windows.

Boise, ID

It's open to anyone who wants to go in badly enough.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

This is nothing more than another attack on anything Christian. It is the beginning of a massive flood of litigation against Christians. Next will be the homosexual community suing for access to temples and eventually it will be granted because of "fairness." Once that happens, the church will close the temples affected in those countries.

Manti, UT

It is a public house of worship. Anyone can enter it with the proper paperwork, i.e. a temple recommend. Other religions have places where the general public cannot just walk into. Why is the LDS Church singled out?

Sparks, NV

This is a sad ruling for the church as the money used to pay taxes will not go to the other good things the LDS church does. For those who claim that this is a "correct" ruling are somehow using this as a way to ridicule the church for holding standards as to who can go in this or any Temple.

Having attended the Temple Sessions well over 600 times in the past 14 years (by no means any kind of record) I can testify that the only way anyone will get something out of those sessions is by being very ready, worthy and prepared. If someone attends that is not worthy, there is no spirit there. Everyone must be ready and trying to do their best to keep the covenants they have made. If I go without trying my best to do my best, I get nothing from it. But the times when I am very desirous to know God's will, open to His direction and humble in my demeanor, it is like attending a session with Angels.

It is still a public building, open to those who have paid the price of humility and worthiness to enter.

Vancouver, WA

The temple is open to all members of the public who meet the requirements to hold a temple recommend. And no member of the public is prohibited from meeting those standards. In fact, all are encouraged to do so.

I'm not sure what law the judges are applying but the temple meets the commonly understood definition of public.

Topeno, Finland

Absolutely wrong decision... One more mingling with religious freedom... I wonder what they'll do with monasteries and places like mosques, where public is not allowed... Extremely poor decision by EU. Sad that other churches did not join the fight...


Why was the church arguing in court that the Temple is a public place of worship? Just to save paying some property taxes?

Better, in my opinion, to acknowledge the obvious - that the Temple is not open to the public, avoid spending all of the money on attorneys, and simply pay 20% of the property tax. It seems to me the money spent arguing in court could have been better spent to help those in need.

Gilbert, AZ

The Court here seems to be holding to a very narrow definition of public. Any devout religious group is going to have places reserved exclusively for its members.
It seems like the Court here wants to define "public" to mean "general public". Historically it was not defined as thus. Seems to me that the Court is trying to publish exclusive or semi-exclusive religions.

Jim Cobabe
Provo, UT

Rather a fine distinction, to nuance tax status by reference to "public" access. Just how much interest does the government take in identifying such charateristics? If there is a "private" room in a building from which "public" entry is barred, does that now disqualify that building from full tax-exempt status?

Interestingly, one of the related issues being debated in US courts involves access to bathrooms. Does this ruling imply that segregated bathrooms should exclude a charitable business from full tax-exempt status?

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

So what, Corvette? You have no clue how much charity work the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints performs on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. It well out weighs the taxes on any temple. Your comment denotes nothing other than an ax to grind.

Hayden, ID

Unions, planned parenthood, the NAACP and community organizers are not houses of worship either but they don't pay taxes. Gee I wonder why?

Somewhere in Time, UT

Unfortunately, England doesn't have a First Amendment. This demonstrates the need for one. We are blessed in this country with a constitution that protects church's from this sort of thing.

In England, taxpayers actually have pay to support the Church of England. That is why we got the First Amendment--to make sure there would be no state church and to protect religion from government intrusion. It was NOT to keep faith out of the public square as so many try to claim nowadays.

Layton, UT

put in a visitor's center chapel... problem solved.

Highland, UT

I disagree with the court's decision. Many faiths have temples, sanctuaries, or holy places that nonmemebers are prohibited from entering, or they have portions of their places of worship that nonmembers may not enter. To require a church to allow all people into all places of their houses of worship is dictating to a religion how they must worship, and thus intrudes on their freedom of worship. I would hope that this ruling does not effect synagogues, Islamic houses of worship, and sanctuaries of other faiths. Let common sense rules over the narrow view that all places of worship must also be "public" places of worship. Thank you.

Star Bright
Salt Lake City, Ut

This is the first step in control of religion by the government.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I wonder how the local mosque is treated for tax purposes?

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