If you were the pastor of a church in Racine, WI… would you contribute to the “Racine’s Fair Share” campaign? Why or why not?
// Read more here…
From the Journal Times:
Members of a local church have given $1,500 to the city to help it cover some of its costs next year.
The donation comes after Mayor John Dickert’s office sent letters in September to 182 local nonprofits, including churches, asking the tax-exempt organizations if they would consider paying a portion of the property tax the city would normally charge them if their properties were taxed.
The idea was that if the organizations donated even a little bit to city coffers it would help Racine better weather a nasty financial season. According to the letter, any money the city received through Nov. 1 would be applied to its 2013 budget.
On Nov. 2 City Administrator Tom Friedel told aldermen that the city has yet to collect any money through the program, dubbed “Racine’s Fair Share.”
Two weeks later, on Friday, the mayor’s office received a check from the congregation at Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, 625 College Ave.
Most of the money was collected from parishioners during services on a recent Sunday, Olympia Brown minister the Rev. Tony Larsen said Monday. Following the initial offering for the church, a second collection basket was sent around so people could donate money to the city.
“I think a lot of people felt that the city, and other cities too, had lost so much funding from the state,” Larsen said of church’s roughly 330 adult members. “We were very concerned about that.”
In his September letter to nonprofits, Dickert stated that while state law grants tax-exempt status to properties for various reasons, the obligation of the City of Racine to provide services, like snow plowing and police and fire protection, to these properties remains.
On Monday he said he was very happy that the church had donated to the city.
“They were the first and hopefully not the last,” Dickert said. “They have been a great partner.”
// What a great example of a church (even a Universalist church) setting a good example in the city they are in.