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Taxation on top of salvation

Tijuana's archbishop speaks out against government's demand for "profits"

In unusually combative language, the archbishop of Tijuana has accused Mexico's federal government of extorting money from the Catholic Church under the guise of taxation.

Archbishop Rafael Romo

In an interview published August 25 by the daily newspaper El Sol de Tijuana, archbishop Rafael Romo said new tax regulations requiring churches and all their subsidiaries to maintain strict books and to pay taxes on monies left over after accounting for expenses would do more harm to the needy than anyone else.

The Catholic Church currently operates hospitals and clinics, provides food, clothing, and shelter, and dispenses other forms of social assistance through parishes, schools, and religious orders across the city, he said. If every parish or organization providing such services must account for and assign a value to every item provided to the poor as well as provide receipts to every donor, many of them will get out of the business of helping the less fortunate rather than deal with the smothering new tax rules, the archbishop said.

The new tax regulations — part of a nationwide crackdown that has also provoked protests from business owners over the record-keeping involved — treat churches as if they were businesses and require them to pay taxes on their "profits," according to Archbishop Romo.

The archbishop invited politicians of all stripes to come with him on a visit of parishes across Tijuana so they can see for themselves "what the church is and what it does."

Though the archbishop took aim at the politicians behind the new regulations ("leftists who must abhor the church or they wouldn't be leftists"), he said the church would continue its work as best it could "because it is not the government for whom we work but God and our brothers."

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In unusually combative language, the archbishop of Tijuana has accused Mexico's federal government of extorting money from the Catholic Church under the guise of taxation.

Archbishop Rafael Romo

In an interview published August 25 by the daily newspaper El Sol de Tijuana, archbishop Rafael Romo said new tax regulations requiring churches and all their subsidiaries to maintain strict books and to pay taxes on monies left over after accounting for expenses would do more harm to the needy than anyone else.

The Catholic Church currently operates hospitals and clinics, provides food, clothing, and shelter, and dispenses other forms of social assistance through parishes, schools, and religious orders across the city, he said. If every parish or organization providing such services must account for and assign a value to every item provided to the poor as well as provide receipts to every donor, many of them will get out of the business of helping the less fortunate rather than deal with the smothering new tax rules, the archbishop said.

The new tax regulations — part of a nationwide crackdown that has also provoked protests from business owners over the record-keeping involved — treat churches as if they were businesses and require them to pay taxes on their "profits," according to Archbishop Romo.

The archbishop invited politicians of all stripes to come with him on a visit of parishes across Tijuana so they can see for themselves "what the church is and what it does."

Though the archbishop took aim at the politicians behind the new regulations ("leftists who must abhor the church or they wouldn't be leftists"), he said the church would continue its work as best it could "because it is not the government for whom we work but God and our brothers."

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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