In the old days when times got tough, cash hungry rulers went for the monks. Henry VIII closed the monasteries and sold off the property to his followers. The French Revolution did the same.These days, the church doesn’t have the dough — and if it did, class action lawyers for sex abuse victims get there first. So cash-strapped states have to look to our secular monasteries: tax-exempt nonprofits. From a piece by Stephanie Strom in the New York Times:
A growing number of nonprofit groups in California are being denied exemption from property taxes because the state’s chief tax collector and assessors contend they do not do enough to benefit state residents, according to lawyers representing the groups.
The coffers are empty, and they have to be filled — even if that means slapping taxes on charitable groups sending famine relief overseas. Other states follow where California leads:
State and local governments have been taking a hard look at nonprofits and the various tax exemptions they receive for the last couple of years, as tax revenues have fallen and the demand for public services has risen.Last year, Hawaii tried — and failed — to impose a 1 percent tax on nonprofit groups. Boston has asked nonprofits to pay the city what is essentially a discounted property tax, and Chicago plans to ask nonprofits to start paying water and sewer fees.
Because the revenue model is broken — the bureaucratic-administrative state cannot provide the services progressive ideology demands at affordable costs — the demands of the state for more and more revenue turn bureaucrats and government employees against their ideological allies in the “progressive” foundations and non-profits.The rift between upper middle class gentry liberals and government workers is growing, and it has the potential to tear the Democratic Party apart.