Just to prime the pump for a latter entry about the churches Hubby and I saw in Quebec City. That is, the dead and former churches and synagogue (singular) we saw, and how some served a civic purpose and others didn't.
Why should a church be tax-exempt? Presumably to keep the state from interfering with our right to worship, perhaps because it serves a charitable purpose, or both. But what if a church has a huge honkin' chunk of property that depresses the neighborhood economy? What if it has very few members in proportion to the size of the property, or if all of them are from outside of the jurisdiction that provides services? Or what if it provides no services for the public good? These aren't hypothetical situations.
I'm inclined to think that this kind of church should pay taxes in proportion to its in participation in the city or county. That should be reasonably provocative.
Feel free to comment.