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Tax exempt

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    It’s unfortunate that a county official would state that a ministry such as Renewanation serves no public need. That comment was made last week by County Attorney Patrick Skelley while the supervisors were considering whether to grant the organization a real estate tax exemption for its home office located in Hardy.
    Thankfully, however, a majority of the supervisors didn’t follow Skelley’s recommendation to oppose the tax exemption status.
    Renewanation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, states that it serves to promote the cause of biblical worldview by supporting and expanding Christian schools, home schools and ministries reaching students in non-Christian schools. The ministry is seeing this accomplished both locally and nationally as it impacts students, their parents, their schools and churches.
    This county, alone, has hundreds of students receiving their education through home schooling or private schools. Are those students any less important than those who attend public schools? The organization also serves those in public schools by providing opportunities for them to be exposed to a biblical worldview, should they choose to want that.
    It’s amazing that county staff could have such a narrow view of education as to not understand the positive impact a ministry such as Renewanation can provide. One must wonder what the motivation was to oppose the request.
    The county staff and board would do well to not dismiss those students who are involved in educational alternatives apart from the public school system. Parents sacrifice a lot to provide either home schooling or private school educations for their children. Those families pay taxes in this county, too.
—Written by Tom Wilmoth/Bedford Bulletin Editor
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(Editor’s disclosure: For two years, Tom Wilmoth served as volunteer editor of the Renewanation newsletter.)