Cults thrive on tax-free status, senator says
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday May 21, 2010
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says religious organisations must face a public benefit test, in light of a weapons find at properties linked to a religious cult.
Adelaide police found guns, high-powered ammunition and explosives at properties connected with Agape Ministries International.
Police think the weapons may have been bound for a Pacific island.
Senator Xenophon says organisations claiming to be religious thrive on their tax-free status.
He says legislation he introduced to the Senate last week would help flush out dangerous groups.
“If a cult cannot get tax-free status because of its activities then clearly that would make it more difficult for it to flourish and to expand,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important that we have a public benefit test and that to me is one way of ensuring some degree of scrutiny for an organisation such as this.
“Until we have a public benefit test these organisations will escape even the most basic level of scrutiny.”
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