Paying for Christchurch’s Rebuild.

5 03 2011

There has already been some discussion about how to pay for the rebuild of Christchurch. Much will be funded by EQC and insurance, but there will no doubt be a shortfall that will need to be made up.

One suggestion is to institute a special levy, such as that proposed in Australia after the recent floods. There have been other suggestions, such as an increase in EQC levy, a “tax holiday” in Canterbury and cancelling major infrastructure projects elsewhere bin NZ.

Well, why not amend the Charities Act so that “promotion of religion” is no longer a charitable purpose and tax churches on their business profits? Television and newspapers have been full of images of police, fire fighters, ambos, civil defence and the military helping out at churches. These churches have not paid a single cent of the tax that funds emergency services, yet they are still willing and able to call on those services.

Why should Sanitarium pay not a cent of tax, helping them compete against Hubbards, who do pay tax? Sure, some of the sanitarium profits will be used for charitable purposes, but then so are some of Hubbards. The difference being, Hubbards only get a tax deduction for the actual amount spent charitably, not their entire profits.

Churches are entitled all the services provided by local government yet they do not pay local rates. Once again, the church is subsidised by everyone else in the community.

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