Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Judge Kramer Confirms Earlier Ruling in Favor of Archdiocese Against City of San Francisco

Gosh, I hope the Archdiocese sues the city to recover their legal costs. From U.S. Catholic:

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- A Superior Court judge made final his earlier tentative decision to throw out a multimillion-dollar "delinquent" tax bill imposed on the Archdiocese of San Francisco by the San Francisco assessor-recorder.

Judge Richard A. Kramer Jan. 9 confirmed a 43-page "Tentative Statement of Decision" he issued in favor of the archdiocese Nov. 18.

For more than three years, the archdiocese fought an attempt by Phil Ting, head of the Office of the Assessor-Recorder, to impose transfer taxes totaling more than $20 million on more than 200 parish and school properties involved in an internal reorganization by the archdiocese.

The archdiocese maintained that the effort came despite the fact that the city's "documentary transfer tax" ordinance, as it is called, applies only to property "sold" in San Francisco and specifically exempts internal reorganizations of this kind.

The church also countered that state and federal law have long recognized that intra-church reorganizations are not transfers and are not subject to such taxes.

"This has been a very frustrating experience," said Jack Hammel, general counsel for the archdiocese.

He said Ting's and his chief assistant's refusal "to recognize well-established law on this subject" and the "repeated delaying tactics" church officials encountered for three and a half years have "caused a considerable disruption to the charitable activities of the archdiocese."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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