Church leaders speak out against push to charge non-profits for water

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Religious leaders and some aldermen called on Mayor Emanuel on Tuesday to drop his push to charge non-profits for water usage.

Over the weekend, city leaders said they plan to pitch a new bill that would exempt non-profits from the fees if they have net assets of less than $1 million. Non-profits with more than $1 million would pay fees based on a progressive scale.

There would be no exemption for non-profits with net assets of more than $250 million.

At St. Paul Church of God in Christ at 45th and Wabash, the Interfaith Coalition to Restore the Water Exemption Fee called on the Emanuel administration to end its efforts.

They argue these critical organizations need every penny possible to do good work for communities. They also say this bill hurts poor non-profits that sit on pricy land.

Ald. Howard Brookins questioned how the city can differentiate between hospitals like Northwestern Memorial and the University of Chicago, and a small shelter.

At least 29 of the city’s 50 aldermen are supporting a bill that would allow water fees for some non-profits, but not others.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this report.

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  • Brian Millersmith

    If Ald. Howard Brookins cannot differentiate between a mega-million dollar operation and a small micro non-profit — he is NOT fit to serve public office! IMPEACH HIM NOW!!!

  • PLZ

    There is supposed to be a sepparation of church and state. The first ammendment provides everyone the right to practice the religion of their choosing. It also protects me FROM your religion.
    It is a pretty far cry to call the Churches non for profit when they preach bigotry from the pulpet.

    Charge for water? Lets not stop there, Tax them like the corporations that they are!

  • keeping real

    plz probably want mitt to win the election as well!!! have a soul, the city is already making their money with taxes from beer to going to the movies!!! just money hungry!!!!

  • Guessed wrong

    I'd be more in favor of tax exempt if churches, reverrearends and staff would keep out of politics 100%. In the last 20 years they've put their two cents in on every legal state, county, city and federal level. It's not staying separate. They can tell their sheeple what they want about abortion, about queer marriage, about guns, but they constistantly cross the line and tell our leaders and the voters what they believe is wrong and right. Keep it in your church building, one it crosses the threshold at the door, it's no longer "church", it's "public".

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