One of the perks of living in America is that religious institutions are exempt from several taxes. Of course, there are rules for such things and of course, they’re not always followed.
Take this recent example from the Jewish penal colony known as Rockland County. A multiple family house owned by a shul was granted a property tax exemption under the pretense that it would house the Rabbi and two assistant rabbis. The problem is that there were several illegal conversions to the building and there was no proof that the other rabbis actually lived there.
Gedalia Oberlander, who identified himself to the Assessment Review Board as the rabbi of the congregation, said he lived in one of the apartments, and two assistant rabbis lived in the others.
“I feel that not having a certificate of occupancy shouldn’t interfere with having the exemption,” Oberlander told the board at its meeting Thursday.
Even more comical is that they’re having trouble finding the shul itself:
“There was no CO (certificate of occupancy) and we’re unable to confirm the location of the synagogue itself, seeing that it wasn’t in that location,” Shedler said yesterday.
And for the coup de grace, the name of the shul?
Congregation Merkoz Halacha