Local lawmakers raps bill to tax Boy Scouts - Brian W. Jones

Local lawmaker raps bill to tax Boy Scouts

Santee Assemblyman Brian Jones, in his latest edition of “Are you Kidding Me,” sharply criticizes legislation that would strip the Boy Scouts of tax breaks if it continues to prohibit participation by gays.

“Liberals want to punish them for their philosophical beliefs,” said Jones, a Republican. “When the founding fathers set up our country this is the exact type of tyranny they taught us to resist.”

Senate Bill 323 would erase the sales tax exemption for all nonprofits, such as the Boy Scouts, that are not open to members of the lesbian, gay and transgender community.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, an openly gay Bell Gardens Democrat carrying the legislation, has praised the work of the Boy Scouts, but suggests the organization needs to change.

“The Boy Scouts provide a valuable service and they build model citizens in communities,” he said in an earlier interview. “Yet, it discriminates against some of our most vulnerable youth.”

Those groups that continue to discriminate would lose their nonprofit, tax-exempt status on goods they sell and would have to pay corporate income taxes. It would not affect the status of any sponsoring organizations, such as churches.

“We must fight against this tyranny of taxation and protect the Boy Scouts of American because their good deeds and community service (have) benefitted our country for over 100 years,” Jones said.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Boy Scouts can bar gay members and leaders.

The legislation faces its first test before the Senate Governance and Finance Committee April 10.

“Are You Kidding Me?” is a weekly blog and video post by Jones used to highlight his thoughts on controversial issues.