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Big Anderson church files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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The Madison Park Church of God in Anderson has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, saying it was the victim of the recession and the closing of a General Motors Co. plant.

The church, originally known as North Anderson Church of God and located on Scatterfield Road, bought a 200-acre site near Interstate 69 in 2007 and built a church there using three bridge loans. One $6 million loan matured in July 12 and couldn’t be repaid because the church was unable to sell some of the real estate.

The bankruptcy petition, filed July 12 in Indianapolis, lists assets of less than $10 million and debt exceeding $10 million.

Madison Park Church is looking for a pastor, according to its website. In April, Jim Lyon had been the church's pastor for 22 years, said he was stepping down to become the general director-designate of the Anderson-based Church of God Ministries, which has 2,200 congregations around North America.

The Herald Bulletin of Anderson said about 3,000 families attend Madison Park Church.

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  • church
    any development would have been for senior housing, missionary housing, etc. all NON-profit stuff for the betterment of Anderson, not commercial for profit ventures.
  • Taxes
    I have long held the position that the newer churches (or, mega-churches) are a business rather than a place of worship. They should either forego their tax-exempt status OR, at an absolute minimum, only be property-tax-exempt for the church itself. In the instant situation, the 199 acres for parking, playgrounds, miscellaneous, should all be subject to property taxes, zoned residential in most situations. I am more than a little tired of seeing 25+ acres church sites popping up all over Fishers and Carmel in what should be residential areas, and we taxpayers have to pick up the difference in taxes...
    • Right On
      Well said Ben. I agree, tax the churches.
    • Tax The Churches
      As long as we're on the subject, tax the churches. There is good money in the God business. And yes, it is a business. Why do my employees and company pay taxes on the service we provide? Look at the materials of construction used in a church. While our houses are made of siding, they would be made of brick and limestone too if we didn't pay taxes. Tax them. And let them use siding our their houses too.
    • Pay Your Debtors
      One or more banks is going to take it on the chin because they took a flier on a speculative real estate deal. What church needs 200 acres and why? The banks deserve to lose thier shirts and the church should be embarrased for getting into something they know nothing about. I beleive the bible says to pay your debts.

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    1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

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