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City of Johannesburg Rates Policy

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Wandapec
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« on: March 23, 2008, 18:16:40 PM »

I heard David O'Sullivan discussing the new Rates Policy on 702 on Thursday evening and was shocked to hear that property registered and used for religious worship qualifies for differential rates as per Section 9 of the document, including the residence of the "delusional-in-chief". This has probably always been the case, I guess but now that I am paying attention I find it shocking! What possibly could the reason be for granting differential rates to these groups? What also bugs me is the blatant descrimination against those who are not delusional? Would a South African atheist organisation have to register as a "religion" to get special treatement?

This is typical of what is going on in the US where taxpayers are pouring money into religious organisations because of the policies of the ruling party regardless of the constitution.

This kind of thing really pisses me off!
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 19:38:03 PM »

“Delusional-in-chief,” eh? Grin Judging by the cars some of them drive, it looks like furthering delusion pays quite well.

I know it doesn’t at all address the problem, but these rate concessions are yet another example in a very long list of special favours religions have arrogated for themselves.  That these considerations are entirely undeserved and completely unwarranted should be clear to anyone who thinks about it just a little, but it is one of the tactics religions deploy in pursuit of their proliferation.  No doubt, they’ll defend it on the basis that religions fulfil a very special role in society and aren’t businesses, to which assertion probably the most apt reply would be, “Oh, really?”

Still, one feels just a little compassion for all those sorry and misguided dupes who continue to make donations and thereby perpetuate this sad state of affairs.

'Luthon64
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bluegray
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 11:50:41 AM »

Like L. Ron Hubbard said, a good way to make money is to start your own religion Roll Eyes
Religious castles in Johannesburg must be a good deal these days: http://en.afrik.com/article12926.html
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ArgumentumAdHominem
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2008, 08:39:20 AM »

Religious castles in Johannesburg must be a good deal these days: http://en.afrik.com/article12926.html

It seems like the recent declaration of Scientology as a PBO (tax exempt Public Benefit Organisation) has released a flurry of large-scale property purchases.

One of the historic landmarks in Port Elizabeth's central business district – the United Building on the corner of St Mary's Terrace and Govan Mbeki Avenue – is soon to have a R6-million facelift, adding a new look to the inner city.

The building has been bought by the Church of Scientology, which wants to turn it into its regional headquarters, for about R8-million.

Recently approved by the commissioner of revenue as a public benefit organisation, and also tax exempted, the church has also recently acquired new property in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

[...]

The MBDA has introduced special tax rebates for investors who buy old buildings in Port Elizabeth's CBD and renovate them.

Could it have anything to do with the fact that PBOs don't pay capital gains tax?  Could it be that the cash incentive from the PE council goes a long way towards increasing profit?  Could it be that the never-ending source of unpaid labour (if they are Sea Org personnel then they all have a personal one billion year contract, also read the court testimony here - see page 443 line 17 onwards) within their organisation can mean that the R6 million facelift could cost a fraction of that amount.

As a bit of an aside, we can compare Scientology's "were not a business" practices to the legitimate business practices of MacDonald's, where they purchase prime land before they sell a single burger.  The gain in capital wealth from the property that they own all around the world boosts the value of their company substantially.  Compare this with KFC which rents the store locations that they have and you can immediately see the benefit; their location becomes an asset not a liability.  This was a brilliant business move, and has been copied by Scientology.  Even if the proverbial hit the fan tomorrow, the top echelons in The Org would have extremely comfortable retirements, imagine twenty or thirty more years of this practice.

[The organisation's director of external affairs for Africa, Paul Sondergaard] said the church had been successful with its anti-drug and human rights campaigns.


I'm sure there's a tilda missing there, as in "anti-drug and ~human rights campaign" i.e. "anti-drug and anti-human rights campaign".  Wink

Oh boy, when did I become such a cynic?  Wasn't being a sceptic good enough?
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