Report Claims America’s Richest Pastor Found A Way To Get Out Of Paying $150K In Annual Taxes On A $7 Million Dollar Mansion That He Said God Told Him To Build

Sickening.


653
653 points

Allow me to introduce you to a little holiday rage.

As Americans struggle all across the country —be it from the neverending COVID-19 pandemic, the recent series of catastrophic tornadoes that ripped peoples’ homes away from them, or just your average, everyday, American Capitalism — the nation’s richest pastor is skirting his taxes like the good millionaire he is.

According to a new report from the Houston Chronicle, famous televangelist and founder of Eagle Mountain International Church Kenneth Copeland managed to avoid upwards of $150,000 in annual taxes on his Texas mansion worth $7 million.

The Chronicle reports that Copeland, whose net worth sits at a cool $750 million, built a six-bedroom mansion near Fort Worth in 1999. Copeland is reportedly the owner of multiple properties and numerous private jets, which are housed at an airport nearby that’s actually named after him.

According to TX state laws, homes belonging to pastors, known as parsonages, are allowed a 100% exemption from property taxes. While it’s likely that the state law was never meant to encompass millionaires with multi-million dollar mansions, local authorities say that Copeland is still well within his rights under the TX law to claim his expansive abode as a parsonage.

Tarrant County’s chief appraiser, Jeff Law, told the local publication, “It definitely looks out of place and unusual compared to other parsonages we have. But from what I can gather through the law, and my understanding, it qualifies as a parsonage just like the little house next to the church would.”

The report goes on to note that in 2015, the ultra-rich pastor claimed that God himself told him to build the house for his wife Gloria. “It is part of your prosperity,” he claims God said to him.

Parsonages can only be 1 acre to qualify for the hefty tax exemption, and wouldn’t you know, Copeland’s mansion meets the qualifications.

The mansion itself sits on its own individual plot that doesn’t exceed the 1-acre limit. However, Copeland also purchased 24 additional lakefront acres that surround his property. The additional property is valued at $125,000. a mere drop in the bucket compared to the home he actually lives in, and only accrues a $3,000 annual tax bill.

President of the Trinity Foundation, a nonprofit focused on transparency in religious organizations, Pete Evans told the local publication, “The law was never intended to give breaks to millionaires and multimillionaires. You make a mockery of the law itself.”

Lawrence Swicegood, a spokesperson for Eagle Mountain International Church, told the Houston Chronicle that the church “always abides by biblical guidelines. Our church also adheres to the various federal, state, county and local codes, statutes and ordinances applicable to the church ministry.”

A report from Business Insider notes “The local district set the value of Copeland’s mansion at $10.8 million in 2020, the Chronicle reported, but the church protested and it was lowered back to $7 million in 2021.”

The above information hails from discoveries made by the Houston Chronicle as part of a sweeping investigation into the finances of various prominent religious figures in the state of Texas.

Featured image via screen capture 

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