Here’s some backstory from a previous post:
When you sell a piece of property in many California jurisdictions, including San Francisco, the seller must pay a rather exhorbitant tax for the privilege which is based upon the value of the property. It is akin to a sales tax on a home or commercial property.
The San Francisco Archdiocese owns hundreds of lots in San Mateo, Marin and San Francisco counties. The exceedingly vast majority of these properties are the lots which make up a parish plant, i.e., church, school, parish hall, parking lot, rectory. . .
The Archdiocese has historically held title to these properties under two names - The Roman Catholic Welfare Corporation and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, a Corporation Sole.
In December, 2007, San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer announced a corporate restructuring within the archdiocese and by May 2008, almost all properties in question had been consolidated under the title of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Parish and School Juridic Persons Juridic Property Support Corp.
Since this is not a sale or transfer to a different organization or person, no transfer tax is invoked and no transfer tax has ever been invoked in the history of the state for such a transaction.
That is, until City Assessor Phil Ting gauged the likely public reaction to an outright theft from the Prop. 8 supporting Catholic Church and realized it would not only be profitable, but popular. Last year Ting, unlike assessors in Marin and San Mateo Counties, decided to charge the Archdiocese a transfer tax on all Archdiocesan properties in San Francisco. This includes properties such as Mission Dolores, which have been owned by the Church since before there was a State of California or a taxing authority in San Francisco.
They are still owned by the Church. No money changed hands. Yet, the City is charging the Archdiocese the second largest real estate transfer tax in history, as if the Archdiocese were a real estate investor selling a profitable high-rise office building.
The Archdiocese appealed Ting’s decision to an appeal board which yesterday agreed to take $14.4 million from the Church. The Archdiocese will now take the issue to court. Archdiocesan spokesperson Maury Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“The board members, all of whom are City Hall administrators rather than members of the judiciary, apparently faced tremendous pressure in view of the city's desperate need for revenue . . . We are glad that having exhausted the required administrative process we can finally proceed to a formal, neutral civil court forum . . . We trust that the civil court will carefully consider the applicable law, devoid of the sensationalism and politics that the archdiocese thus far has faced.”
Pray for the persecuted Church in San Francisco. This is just one of many assaults the Church has suffered there recently. Hat Tip to A Shepherd’s Voice who has more background here and especially here.
The Turks belatedly developed sea power, but during the 16th century they came to dominate the Mediterranean Sea.
One major reason for Turkish success through these ten centuries conquest was that various countries of Europe failed to cooperate for their mutual defense. They were often too busy squabbling with one another to present a united front. More than one country went so far as to side with the Turks against another European country. One Italian State even provided oceanic transportation for Muslim soldiers and the Muslim slave trade!
Of course, we’re all familiar with the story of Pope St. Pius V and the victory of Don Juan of Austria in the sea battle of Lepanto in 1571. We’re also familiar with the story of the Polish King, John Sobieski’s successful defense of Vienna in 1683, when he routed the Turkish army, which retreated in disarray, never to return.
Forced conversions were common under such a terrorist regime. But what about those who refused to convert? They, the dhimmi, were taxed heavily but allowed to live, provided they recognized themselves as “subdued.” They had to wear identifying clothes, step aside with visible humility to allow any Muslim to pass, and so forth. Any dhimmi who failed to act properly subdued could be (and usually was) summarily killed.
Overall, this is a very timely book, It’s also a very well organized and a very well written book.
Copyright, 2008, by James B. Spencer. First Serial Rights