Last year, our rector was at the local MARC station at the unholy hour of 4:45 on Ash Wednesday to provide “Ashes to Go” to those who desired them.
I don’t know if he had or needed a permit, but this year he does. We got a call today from someone in the Harford County Government who said the permit could not be issued because we “were not in good standing, as we had not paid personal property taxes for the last three years”.
First of all, the State of Maryland does not have a personal property tax, and second, as a church we would be exempt even if there was one. Who are they going to bill? God? When the call came in, our Senior Warden happened to be there, as well as The Squire, who was working on plats to take to the County Seat to get this shed business untangled. The SW put the call on speaker-phone, and it was obvious from the answers the man on the other end gave us that he had NO clue what he was talking about. We’d ask a question and he’d circle around and come back at it from another direction. He finally gave us a URL to file the paperwork on-line, but the options as to “what sort of business are you running?” did not include a section for churches.
At the moment, The Squire is off to the County Seat and the SW was going home to call the 800 number and see what the devil is going on.
If this keeps up, I’m going to become a Libertarian.