Dear Brethren and Friends, Just as Pharaoh came back after Israel after they had escaped from Egypt, it seems that the same thing is happening to the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. Thirteen years ago, the congregation, even though losing their property, escaped to locate twelve miles south of the original area, in a beautiful leased facility. A part of the lease agreement with the owners, Marion County agreed to remove the property from the property tax rolls, which relieved the church from approximately $140,000 worth of property taxes per year. As strange as it might seem, over the past few years, the church has had to go through the process again three times with the count ruling each time in favor of the church.
Tragically there was a case some time ago where an incorporated church in Hamilton County which was leasing, lost their case which went to the Supreme Court of Indiana which ruled against the church. but also ruled that each County may rule as they wish in such cases. Churches that own, as in the Trinity Springs Case recently are home free for the time being. However we feel that this is a back door way of getting to all churches in Indiana. Get those who lease first and then go for the ones who own property.
In reality, even though they are saying that this is a tax against owners and not the church, it is still a tax against the church, because the church is the one that has to pay the tax. Also it is a tax against the poorest of churches, because they are the churches that have to lease when they start up, which is usually a store front.
This is a very important issue that has ramifications far beyond the Baptist Temple. It involves or will eventually involve every church in the State of Indiana and even across the nation. Again we are asking every pastor, preacher and Christian laymen to join us next Friday at 9 am on the 12th Floor of the City/ County Building in Indianapolis at the Appeals Board meeting. Especially we need every pastor that is meeting in a leased facility to be there. We are carrying this battle for you as well as for ourselves. It is important that they see that we have a great amount of support, and that this issue involves more than just one church. At this point it doesn’t look good because the Marion County Assessors staff is recommending that the Appeals Board rule against IBT. Even if you cannot be there in person, please make this an urgent matter of prayer.
The City/County Building is located at 200 E. Washington Street 46204
Bro. Greg J. Dixon