When I pay my taxes, like all Americans, I try to pay as little as possible. Those spending our tax dollars both at a local and federal level have consistently shown themselves incompetent and unqualified to handle money, and if our essential services are underfunded, the fault is squarely theirs.
Politicians—who as a rule cannot control their own spending impulse—should never shame anyone who legally keeps their money in their own pocket where it belongs, and where it goes to the best use.
My pastor, Philip Rizzo, lives in a parsonage, and as a result, does not pay taxes on that property.
There appear to be a couple major objections to this arrangement. Some people take umbrage over the fact that a parsonage is tax free, while others think that the deal was somehow lop-sided, and that Pastor Rizzo made a hefty profit at the church’s expense.
To the first objection, I would simply say, take it up with the legislature. The house is legally a parsonage, and our church is blessed to own it.
To the second accusation, that Pastor Rizzo profited off the deal: I actually wish that were the case. I have seen several ignorant individuals state that Pastor made $100,000 off the transaction, and for my part I am truly disappointed to inform you that is not remotely true.
Pastor Rizzo started City Baptist Church from scratch nearly nine years ago. For the first three years, he took no salary for performing his pastoral responsibilities. As a church, we are fortunate that our pastor can support his family independently. Otherwise, he would be living under a bridge, or commuting long distances from a state that has sensible tax policies and a lower cost of living.
We pay our pastor a small salary, not because he needs it, but because the Bible states the “the labourer is worthy of his hire”. As a member of seven years, I can confidently attest to the fact that the church significantly underpays pastor for his services, and that would still be the case had he made money off the sale of his house. The fact is, he lost, or rather donated money in that deal.
Though we are not able to pay him what he is worth, we are glad to afford him the benefit of living in a parsonage. To those feigning outrage that the church is somehow being fleeced, again, as a long-time member, as the treasurer, and as the largest individual contributor to the church (aside from Pastor Rizzo himself), I thank you for your deep concern, and for the amused smile that absurd suggestion brought to my face.
So yes, Philip Rizzo is a successful businessman with a phenomenal house, a pastor who has poured his heart and soul into helping people, and, like all patriotic Americans, is someone who prefers to throw as little of his money in the trash as is legally permissible. I appreciate everyone who is working to publicize these facts, I look so much forward to casting a ballot for Pastor Rizzo, and I encourage all New Jerseyans to do the same.