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Thread: NJ Banned A Church From Selling Headstones, After Business Rivals Lobbied For The Law

  1. #1

    NJ Banned A Church From Selling Headstones, After Business Rivals Lobbied For The Law



    For decades, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark has preserved cemeteries for the faithful and their families. To raise money to maintain many of the ageing monuments, the Archdiocese began selling headstones and other funeral monuments.

    Feeling threatened by the competition, rival monument builders successfully lobbied lawmakers to ban the Archdiocese from selling headstones to their own parishioners. Not only is the law blatantly anticompetitive, the ban is highly unusual: In 47 states, cemeteries can sell headstones, just not in New Jersey. Now the Archdiocese and the Institute for Justice have filed a federal lawsuit against the state, which could strike a blow against economic protectionism.

    Covering 763 acres, the Archdiocese’s 11 cemeteries are the final resting place for nearly 1 million people. Closed to the public, only parishioners and their relatives can be buried in Archdiocese cemeteries. (A small number of Coptic Christians, who fled religious persecution in Egypt, are also interred, after the Archdiocese determined they are “in communion” with the Catholic Church.)


    With their cemeteries ever expanding and ageing (two predate the Civil War), the Archdiocese needed funds for upkeep. In a clever innovation, the Archdiocese began offering “inscription-rights:” Parishioners purchase a private mausoleum or headstone and the Archdiocese inscribes it. But parishioners do not own the monument. Instead, under the contract, the Archdiocese owns the mausoleum or headstone and is perpetually obligated to inscribe, install, repair and maintain the monument. Inscription-rights run the gamut from $1,200 for simple headstones to over $300,000 for more ornate private mausoleums.

    Since starting the program in 2006, the Archdiocese has generated $6 million in revenue from inscription-rights for private mausoleums. In 2013, the Archdiocese expanded it to headstones and other monuments.

    With more than a third of the Garden State identifying as Catholic, inscription-rights became a hit. But incumbent monument builders were less than thrilled. Rather than try to innovate or offer better services to their customers, the monument builders sued to block the Archdiocese from selling headstones. Under oath, the head of the Monument Builders Association of New Jersey, John Burns, testified at trial, “I don’t think it’s their product to sell. I think it’s our product to sell.”
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    http://www.forbes.com/sites/institut...d-for-the-law/
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  3. #2
    Good example of protection from competition, there must be thousands like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRey View Post
    Do you think it's a coincidence that the most cherished standard of the Ron Paul campaign was a sign highlighting the word "love" inside the word "revolution"? A revolution not based on love is a revolution doomed to failure. So, at the risk of sounding corny, I just wanted to let you know that, wherever you stand on any of these hot-button issues, and even if we might have exchanged bitter words or harsh sentiments in the past, I love each and every one of you - no exceptions!

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Rogue View Post
    Good example of protection from competition, there must be thousands like it.
    I say the church is the one having unfair protection from the state. How can any business compete with a tax exempt corporation?
    You can maintain power over people, as long as you give them something. Rob a man of everything, and that man will no longer be in your power. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyEagle View Post
    Trust principles; not people.
    My Che avatar is my unique way of giving a big middle finger to the, the neocons, the globalists, imperialists and most importantly to the left and right political establishment who hate his guts till this day. My admiration for him ends where his anti imperialist pro communism ideology starts.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    I say the church is the one having unfair protection from the state. How can any business compete with a tax exempt corporation?
    Unfair?

    Churches have always been "tax-exempt" and should stay so. Because the state has run amok in taxation does not mean that churches should lose that status.
    There is no spoon.

  6. #5
    Welcome to Chris Krispy Kremes World.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Unfair?

    Churches have always been "tax-exempt" and should stay so. Because the state has run amok in taxation does not mean that churches should lose that status.
    Yes, its is unfair, why should religious organizations running a business get the tax exempt statues when other businesses cannot? I want the institute of justice to answer that. Those headstone companies have to feed their children too.

    I hope the line of work you are into get the church treatment. Then we would see how much you really like churches doubling as businesses getting tax exemptions.
    You can maintain power over people, as long as you give them something. Rob a man of everything, and that man will no longer be in your power. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyEagle View Post
    Trust principles; not people.
    My Che avatar is my unique way of giving a big middle finger to the, the neocons, the globalists, imperialists and most importantly to the left and right political establishment who hate his guts till this day. My admiration for him ends where his anti imperialist pro communism ideology starts.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Yes, its is unfair, why should religious organizations running a business get the tax exempt statues when other businesses cannot? I want the institute of justice to answer that. Those headstone companies have to feed their children too.

    I hope the line of work you are into get the church treatment. Then we would see how much you really like churches doubling as businesses getting tax exemptions.
    I am a Minister under a Vow of Poverty. I make no money.

    The answer is for companies to make better and cheaper headstones- it's called capitalism.
    There is no spoon.

  9. #8
    Wasn't the intention to do this as a Non-Profit? Aside from being a Church, can't just about anyone start a Non-Profit to sell anything to raise funds while having a special Tax Status?

    The one advantage I'd say the Church has is a loyal clientele of attendees to their mass. If their competition is frustrated by this loyalty then to bad.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    Wasn't the intention to do this as a Non-Profit? Aside from being a Church, can't just about anyone start a Non-Profit to sell anything to raise funds while having a special Tax Status?

    The one advantage I'd say the Church has is a loyal clientele of attendees to their mass. If their competition is frustrated by this loyalty then to bad.
    Yes, I am pretty sure that any non-profit, religious or otherwise can sell thing to raise money while still being tax exempt.

  12. #10
    So just as long as you don't plan on feeding your family with your business, then I guess you are good to get the tax exemption. I say that $#@! is unfair. If the church want to raise money, let's the operate like every other business and use the profit to finance whatever they want.

    Anything else is just them trying to use state privilege to squash their competition.

  13. #11
    A few years ago our church started a columbarium. Members are cremated and interred in a very small space on the outside wall of the church. No headstones, just a simple name/date plate and phooey on zoning and other nonsense. I don't think the church makes any money on it. It's minimal cost to use that kind of service.
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    So just as long as you don't plan on feeding your family with your business, then I guess you are good to get the tax exemption. I say that $#@! is unfair. If the church want to raise money, let's the operate like every other business and use the profit to finance whatever they want.

    Anything else is just them trying to use state privilege to squash their competition.
    Are you suggesting that a church should not pay a pastor enough to buy food for himself and his family, and that any tradesman who chooses to do business for a church should not get paid for his work?

    You do know that there are a gazillion non-profits out there that are tax exempt, the vast majority of which are not churches?

    Are you saying that because the Girl Scouts sell cookies, then their President and their CEO should not receive a dime for their work?

    It seems to me that Pepperidge Farm and Oreo do a smashing job selling cookies despite the unfair advantages of the Girl Scout cookies.

    Or would these restrictions against making enough of a salary to feed oneself only apply to churches?

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Yes, its is unfair, why should religious organizations running a business get the tax exempt statues when other businesses cannot?
    You are right. It is "unfair" when one group of people are robbed by the government and another group is not.

    But "robbing everyone equally" - or imposing restrictions (such as anti-competition rules) on the groups that are not being robbed - will NOT rectify this "unfairness."

    In fact, doing so can only ever exacerbate and compound the injustice of it all ...

    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    I want the institute of justice to answer that. Those headstone companies have to feed their children too.
    Then those headstone companies ought be lobbying to abolish taxes. That is the only principled position on this issue.

    But they are not doing so - becasue they aren't principled. It's just an excuse for them to try to forbid someone else from competing with them.

    You don't get to (1) acquiesce to the use of force to extract revenues from yourself and others (i.e., taxation), and (2) advocate the use of force to impose anti-competitive restrictions upon those with whom you compete, and then (3) complain about how "unfair" it all is (or how you can't "feed your children" ... ).

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Yes, its is unfair, why should religious organizations running a business get the tax exempt statues when other businesses cannot? I want the institute of justice to answer that. Those headstone companies have to feed their children too.

    I hope the line of work you are into get the church treatment. Then we would see how much you really like churches doubling as businesses getting tax exemptions.
    They can-they just have to follow 501(c)3 rules. I promise, it's not as good a deal as you make it sound. In an ideal world, churches could operate as non-profits without having to worry about the taxman holding them hostage. In ConstitutionLand, it ain't so. Just ask our brother Ender and any other pastor/priest/etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RP Support me on Patreon here Ephesians 6:12

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    You are right. It is "unfair" when one group of people are robbed by the government and another group is not.

    But "robbing everyone equally" - or imposing restrictions (such as anti-competition rules) on the groups that are not being robbed - will NOT rectify this "unfairness."

    In fact, doing so can only ever exacerbate and compound the injustice of it all ...



    Then those headstone companies ought be lobbying to abolish taxes. That is the only principled position on this issue.

    But they are not doing so - becasue they aren't principled. It's just an excuse for them to try to forbid someone else from competing with them.

    You don't get to (1) acquiesce to the use of force to extract revenues from yourself and others (i.e., taxation), and (2) advocate the use of force to impose anti-competitive restrictions upon those with whom you compete, and then (3) complain about how "unfair" it all is (or how you can't "feed your children" ... ).
    You're probably right, but I'd want proof before I could indict the tombstone industry of that. They could be just adjusting to State manipulations and machinations as best they can.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RP Support me on Patreon here Ephesians 6:12

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    You're probably right, but I'd want proof before I could indict the tombstone industry of that. They could be just adjusting to State manipulations and machinations as best they can.
    What more proof do you need than that they are trying to use the State in order to supress competition? Trying to forcibly prevent others from competing with you is not "just adjusting to State manipulations and machinations" - it is attempting to machinate State manipulations for yourself.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    They can-they just have to follow 501(c)3 rules. I promise, it's not as good a deal as you make it sound. In an ideal world, churches could operate as non-profits without having to worry about the taxman holding them hostage. In ConstitutionLand, it ain't so. Just ask our brother Ender and any other pastor/priest/etc.
    There is nothing Constitutional about 501(c)3. The government regulation of speech from the pulpit is, in fact, a blatant violation of the Constitution.



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