A Tasmanian family known for making honey, owning a bed and breakfast, and living in a home in the island state’s Meander Valley says they don’t have to pay taxes on any of their properties because the land belongs to God, not the government.
The Beerepoot family made their last rates payment for their three properties in July 2010.
Meander Valley Mayor Craig Perkins told the ABC that, in news that will come as a disappointment to homeowners across the country, there was no religious exemption from paying council rates.
“Under law, people who are owning properties, the title owners are required to pay rates, under legislation, and people’s Christian religious beliefs make no difference,” he said.
“If we exempted them on this occasion, everybody would start saying they have a religious belief and don’t have to pay rates.”
I guess the family never read their Bible, or else they would know that even Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
Of course, the Mayor is right in this matter. The Beerepoots can’t get out of paying taxes just because a voice in their heads tells them their debts are forgiven. It’s not like God’s going to be there to put out fires, or collect the garbage, or fill the potholes, or provide police protection if needed.
The family doesn’t get to benefit from the pool of tax money while refusing to participate in the system just because they’re Christians.
As it stands, the Council will soon meet to decide the family’s fate — and that could mean selling off the family’s properties to cover the amount they owe.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Anthony for the link)