Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SF/ Archdiocese got to Court

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is taking the city of San Francisco to court. The move results from the city's attempt to impose a transfer tax on the Archdiocese over it's 2006 reorganization. The city is seeking $14.4 million; when interest and penalties are added the amount is $21.7 million.

It was obvious from the beginning this case would end up in court. Catholic San Francisco has more:

"On January 26, 2010, the San Francisco Transfer Tax Review Board, the members of which are all City Hall administrators, issued a written administrative finding that the Archdiocese was not exempt from a transfer tax, despite the fact that the law pertaining to intra-church property transfers of this nature is overwhelmingly in favor of the Archdiocese. Among other things, the Archdiocese argues that the imposition of a transfer tax on a purely intra-denominational reorganization is outside the San Francisco ordinance, and violates the California and United States Constitutions by imposing a tax on a church for exercising its recognized constitutional rights to choose and change those civil law corporate forms that best accommodate its religious structure and needs. The Archdiocese maintains that to impose transfer taxes, penalties and interest on a religious organization in connection with an internal restructuring involving no exchange or receipt of money from which to pay any tax is inequitable and threatens to confiscate substantial Church assets that are devoted to religious purposes. The complaint asks the court, among other things, to direct the San Francisco Transfer Tax Review Board to set aside its ruling, to direct the Recorder to withdraw his notices of delinquent tax, and to award the Archdiocese its attorneys’ fees and costs."

Our other posts on the case are here.

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