Why Scientology's inability to pay its tax bill in Montreal is not a sign that it's struggling - 2016-04-23
There was some interesting news out of Montreal yesterday regarding Scientology's empty and derelict "Ideal Org" project there. For those joining us recently, the "Ideal Org" program is church leader David Miscavige's desperate attempt to give the impression that Scientology is not shrinking rapidly by opening new, unneeded churches in cities around the world and calling it "expansion."
Beginning in 2002, he's been pushing local members to donate money in order to purchase buildings for the program. But after many of the cities complied and purchased historic buildings in the period 2005 to 2007, they were tapped out and couldn't raise the millions more that it takes to renovate these historical structures to turn them into gleaming "Ideal Orgs." In cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Detroit, Scientology owns an eyesore that sits, year after year, rotting away, racking up code violations.
But at least, in those cities, Scientology isn't racking up tax bills. Tax exemption for churches is so absolute in America, there's no property tax on empty buildings that an organization like Scientology owns, even if it's not being used at all.