MINERSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A church in Schuylkill County is struggling after being wrongfully taxed by the county tax office.
This church has been in Minersville for over 100 years. The Community Mission Church almost lost its building due to wrongful taxing. One victory though, led to another battle.
The Community Mission Church is made up of a small congregation but is filled with resilience.
“It was a 3-year fight before we won in court.” Said Pastor Bob Alonge, Community Mission Church.
In 2017, three months after Community Mission moved into the historic building, Pastor Bob Alonge says their church and ministry “The Fuller Center for Housing” were hit with taxes despite being exempt.
“The law says we will not tax churches, and we were being taxed. Pure and simple.” Said Theresa McClintock, church board member.
Just before the church went into foreclosure, the fight was over. Community Mission was exonerated in court in December 2019 on all taxes past, present and future.
“The price of winning is $6,000 for us.” Said Pastor Alonge.
Community Mission owes $6,000 in attorney fees on top of their continuing struggle to operate the church.
“$6,000 to us is like $6 million. We could see 10 different ways we can use $6,000 to do god’s work through this church.” Said Pastor Alonge.
This leaves a small church in an impossible situation. Pastor bob says things should have never gotten this far.
“The fact that they are allowed to do it, I think, is the issue right now.”
The church says they are grateful that the attorneys are working with them so that they can still maintain their building and slowly pay off the debt.
The pastor of Community Mission Church says he is helping other churches that have also been wrongfully taxed.