Grace Church Eden Prairie MN - Grace Church Rides The Gravy Train


When my family and I walked into Grace Church, we could not help but be wowed and impressed.

Then I paused and asked the question, what does Grace Church actually contribute back to the community of Eden Prairie?

The answer ... very little.

As a nonprofit leader in Minnesota said: "Nonprofits have tax exemption for a reason -- they provide service to the community that lessens the burden on government. We are partners with government and the community".

Tax payers agree the purpose of tax exemption to nonprofits is to lessen the burden on government,. Nevertheless, charities and other nonprofits have become a hotbed of tax evasion and abuse, according to the head of the Internal Revenue Service.

An example of abuse is Mega churches using tax payer subsidized land grabs to ruin our communities resulting in a defunding of our schools.

Grace Church of Eden Prairie MN is one such clear example.

This 80 Million dollar state of the art facility sits on 62 acres and rivals any large shopping mall. Grace Church does not pay any form of taxes leaving the Eden Prairie community to pay for supporting infrastructure such as roads, utilities, sewer, fire, police and rescue.

As a result of Grace Church tax exempt status, consider the amount of lost property taxes which otherwise would benefit the City of Eden Prairie schools, libraries, community centers, parks & recreation, sanitation, and local infrastructure.

The average Eden Prairie MN housing density is 5 + homes per acre. Grace Church Eden Prairie sits on 62 acres which amounts to a potential of 310 homes and commercial buildings being removed from the property tax role. Now multiply 310 home owners paying $3800 in annual property taxes which equals $1,178,000.

Over the last 10 years this tax payer subsidy cost the City of Eden Prairie and shorted tax payers out of $11,178,000. This tax subsidy is being passed on in the form of increased property tax burden on financially stressed Eden Prairie families and businesses.

Does this seem right, just or even sane?

I am a huge advocate of nonprofits that actually share the burden of government such as hospitals, homeless shelters and organizations that return an equitable amount of services back into their local communities.

However, I do not believe Grace Church and others like it return anything close to $11,178,000 back to the local community of Eden Prairie MN.

While many of the initiatives by Grace Church benefits its members, it does not mean these benefits should be subsidized by increased burden of property taxes imposed on all faiths, ethnic cultures, families and businesses of Eden Prairie MN.

Local tax payers agree and demand the city of Eden Prairie MN requires churches pay for supporting their real costs to the city in the form of a progressive property tax, or PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes). Many communities across the country are successfully developing a plan to impose PILOT fees to recover the cost of inequitable tax exemptions from large wealthy churches and nonprofits that take more than they give back to the local community.

In a time of economic crises where Americans are forced to move from their homes due to the inability to pay real estate taxes, churches should not be allowed to remove valuable tracts of prime real estate from the tax rolls, cause increased tax burden on local families and businesses and continue to ride the "no taxes" gravy train.

Call your state and local government representatives to stop this unfair inequitable tax subsidy that hurts local communities, families and businesses.



You forget that all the members work and pay taxes.

to Elizabeth #1347887

Your posting is ignorant and irrelevant.Grace Church collects over $15 million in revenue and returns crumbs back to the community.

This church demands ten percent plus gifts and other offerings from attendees income. Where does almost all of it go you ask? It goes for salaries and buildings.

Mission offerings go for even more salaries and buildings.Taking a gaggle of elderly ladies down town to stock a food pantry is good work, but falls short of being a responsible non profit organization.


I'm NOT a church going person at all- and i have never even visited this church...

BUT what I do know is that they save lives. I've heard stories of neighbors who were in the process of divorce- and that church reached out to them and literally saved their marriage.

How? by meeting needs, concrete children service, healthy living education.

to Anonymous #1340297

This couple they "saved" did they happen to live in Bear Path??


Life giving?

More like blood sucking vampires.

How sad!

Brainerd, Minnesota, United States #1227308


Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #1221692

Grace Church gives back to the surrounding communities and around the world way more than they are tax exempt.

to Anonymous #1230390


Humble, Texas, United States #1178495

Sounds like a cult church operating in Fort Pierce , FL where all the money goes straight into the pastor's pocket.

to Anonymous Burnsville, Minnesota, United States #1180616

Life Giving Church?

More like blood sucking vampires.


I'm not a member of Grace Church, but I'm there every Tuesday evening for my son's civil air patrol meeting, CAP is the civilian auxiliary of the US Airforce. Our CAP group (Viking Squadron) utilizes this wonderful facility free of charge for meetings, drills, search & rescue training, and other events as part of Grace's community outreach. We are very grateful as the space we are given to use more than adequately meets our needs and does not cost CAP or taxpayers a dime for rental.

to CAP PARENT #1171251

The amount of funding returned to support local programs is paltry.


When the Bible refers to the "Great *** Of Babylon" is it talking about todays churches?


Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #992966

Churches have no shame. What an embarrassment! !!

to Anonymous #1019878


to Anonymous #1029150

Read the thread.

to Anonymous #1039439

We did, and still because?

Prior Lake, Minnesota, United States #956344

Obviously you have a beef with this church as there are several large churches in EP and you don't mention them and quite frankly your argument would apply to ALL tax exempt non-profits taking up so-called valuable real estate that could be used for tax paying purposes.It's also obvious you've never been to Grace or any other church, if so you would see what and how Grace and others benefit the local community other means.

The facility itself hosts many faith based and secular functions that bring thousands of people to EP that shop and dine at EP merchants(restaurants, shopping, hotels etc.). The church has many outreach programs whereby church members volunteer their time to go out into the community and offer assistance to the elderly, low income, food banks etc.

And finally Grace Church because of it's location has brought people to EP to live and buy those homes you speak so fondly of and pay property taxes and many of the members are business owners in EP that employ EP residents and also pay taxes.Then there's the whole separation of Church and state thing I won't even get into.

to Church member Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #959098

I agree with the poster "Grace Church Rides The Gravy Train".

Very few Eden Prairie residence have specifically purchased a home due to the aura given off by Grace Church.In fact, a number of the church staff and pastors do not live in Eden Prairie.

Those "many secular and faith based functions" have paid large facility fees and thousands have paid the price of admission to attend those events. Those events are not FREE as you imply. However, events and ticket sales are a major source of revenue.

Top rated charities rated by Charity Watch generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, have met Charity Watch's governance benchmarks, and receive "open-book" status for disclosure of financial information and documents to Charity Watch.

Generally, churches are the direct opposite, spending most income on facilities and salaries and return comparatively little of income on programs in public support.

to My 2 Cents #971623

Churches have turned into "big business" money machines.They are more interested in "closing the deal" on raising money.

They are much more like country clubs which benefit attendees and not the public interest.

Non Profits must be means tested, abusers need to be ferretted out and their tax exempt status cancelled.I am all for free enterprise, but NOT with tax free income.

to Anonymous Waconia, Minnesota, United States #1183369

We all fall short...only God knows is is jealousy. .if you had true joy from the lord you wouldn't let this bother you for more than a day or accually have a murderous heart have planted the seed of anger within you.instead of publicly calling them out go speak with the pastor.

to Anonymous Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #1197414

Same name calling smug BS.

Funny how people act when they are called out for their self endulgent greed.

to My 2 Cents Rhinelander, Wisconsin, United States #1199830

The Bible talks about the Great ***...of Babylon.

I believe this describes today's churches.

Don't believe the flim flam pulpit scammer that appeals to your emotions and fears.

They want eternal financial security for themselves at your expense.

God does hate these manipulative fear mongers and has prepared a place for them.




Amazing how these entities make us ...the residents of the local community pay their way...

Cokato, Minnesota, United States #863705

Are you working for George Soros?People the left is desperately trying to kill all nonprofits which are not funding their own agenda!

They are using even the IRS!This complaint is one of their tools!

to Truth #866379

Much worse ... I am a local tax payer... and I Vote!!

to Anonymous #1075509

Then that's two negatives.No one should pay 'tax'.

All it's done is pay for the cabal to have a private 'military' and pay for parasites who then 'vote' for more stealing from you. It's long past time everyone see what's in our face, so-called 'government' is a fraud and was from the start, as is 'voting'. The only freedom is that you make yourself, with backup of a group or trib.e you make yourself. The three religions, 'churches' are the other scam made up long ago by the same large cabal.

Know who owns you.

educate yourself.thezog dot info


Grace Church is entertaining, lots of fluff, mile wide and an inch deep and seeker friendly.

"One Big Party" as described by Grace Church youth leadership.

Church recently segregated older attendees from the main worship area by providing them with their own "chapel". ... I can imagine, so younger people can party on.

Paul said concerning such, “Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

And from such people turn away!2 Tim 3:1-6

to Anonymous #1019876

How silly. Couldn't it possibly be that there are 2 different worship styles going on? Have you been to "the party" at Grace?

to Anonymous #1075513

'paul', one of the original cabal.You're mixing seriousness of mind with encouraging weakness and self destruction, as designed by the cabal jezus fables 'turn the other cheek' 'love your enemy'.

How is that working out, the fraud 'wars' for their world takeover, the 'bailouts', the mass floods of immigrants who are taking you over. How is 'turn the other cheek' working out with all of that. 'headstrong' and 'unforgiving' are positive force and the only self defense. The 'meek' will Not 'inherit the earth'.

You are being sprayed. Know who owns you. Even the 'truther' sites exposing it all are run by them.

Stop following.the zog.


The venality and callousness of some of today's Christian churches have their roots in the early churches.Take for example the story narrated in Acts 4: 32 - Acts 5- 11.

Many of today's churches are behaving like those described and with motives that are less than pure.

They are only concerned about the money the congregations brings in and are lacking in the brotherly/sisterly compassion you would expect them to have.

So beware which church you patronize.

to Anonymous #809726

Thankfully that is NOT Grace... :)

to DA #815859

You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right?

to Anonymous #1039440

And where did this come out of left field???

Seattle, Washington, United States #747965

Thank god this is anon or the OP would probably be struck by the Bible Belt!*smack* they had to know that this would ignite a fire under all those God-fearing people.

Really your church needs 67 effing acres? How much of that is for your low-income followers? Does your Priest have a reasonable salary? People are right this is not just a fight with this one church but if this was someone's experience, who are you to judge?

Do you think it makes your flock look genuine when you come on here and try to shame that person for sharing something they didn't like about your precious money-making spiritual facade? God is inside us, not within the walls of a million dollar church and piece of property. He is even with the original poster, unlike what some of your flock think. Imagine someone posts against your church and they hear your words of encouragement like: devil, *** etc...

You guys sound like a loving bunch!!Where so I sign on the dotted line or rather, do you want my soul??

to Had enough #809729

It started with people attacking the church for no good reason. We're not all unfortunately at completely turning the other cheek yet, but why the vengeful hate and anger towards our church?

to DA Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #901124

Cry Baby!!

to Had enough #986673

umm- you speak about God being inside of us rather than in a building.Thats absolutely correct!

But you start your post out by throwing a "effing" out, so using that as a substitute for the "F" word discredits you completely.Nice try.

to Anonymous #989419

Your use of the word effing in your reply completely discredits you and your smug response.


Grace Church Eden Prairie MN and every owner of real estate should be paying property taxes.

Frankly, when compared to legitimate non profits such as United Way, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Homes For Our Troops, Scholarship America, Alzheimer's Foundation of America and many more worthy charities, churches provide comparatively few services for needy families or their local communities.

The majority of funds contributed to a church go directly to salaries, costly facilities and entertainment venues primarily for the benefit of attendees, whereas the majority of funds raised by other non profits are returned directly in the form of real services to individuals in need and the local community.

Watchdog groups such as Charity Watch . org would likely grade most churches as an F.

What an abysmal shame ... .

to Anonymous Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #919044

Exactly, great point!

Dallas, Texas, United States #734802

I would like to ask one question of you.Why the *** are you messing with this church?Do you not have anything productive to do with your life than going around trying to start problem's for other people?You should be ashame of yourself.You are a Devil and The lord is going to punish you.

to LINDA #734996

Learn proper spelling and punctuation.

Given the recent staff terminations, the Devil seems to have taken up residency at Grace Church. :eek

to LINDA #737758

I think Linda needs to stop watching "Harry Potter" movies. :grin

to LINDA #751524

Name calling and personal attack is typical coming from this kind of religous fundementalist groups. These groups are dangerous to the public welfare and an insult to legitimate nonprofits.


Grace Church Eden Prairie MN and every owner of real estate should be paying property taxes.

Frankly, when compared to legitimate non profits such as United Way, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Homes For Our Troops, Scholarship America, Alzheimer's Foundation of America and many more worthy charities, churches provide comparatively few services for needy families or their local communities.

The majority of funds contributed to a church go directly to salaries, costly facilities and entertainment venues primarily for the benefit of attendees, whereas the majority of funds raised by other non profits are returned directly in the form of real services to individuals in need and the local community.

Watchdog groups such as Charity Watch . org would likely grade most churches as an F.

What an abysmal shame ... .

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #715185

The "cooked" numbers are directly from the balance sheet. When every non governmental entity pays their fair share of taxes, then their will be nothing more to say.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #714932

land at the end of an airport you want to live there? Pretty sure your cooked numbers would not hold up. Seems like there are better things to be mad about.

to Yaoksure #730166

Over 54 million dollars of tax free real estate is not some pot hole at the end of a runway.


Have you been to VBS there? If not, how can you rate it?

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #680294

Grace Church Eden Prairie Vacation Bible School?

No Thanks!

Chaska, Minnesota, United States #677675

Grace Church Eden Prairie VBS

I would not send my children to Grace Church.

to Anonymous #809731

Then that unfortunately shows your ignorance and hatred towards something you don't know, and an attitude of intolerance I believe... :)

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #656875

You can’t have tax reform without a robust debate about tax breaks that subsidize lavish spending and waste. There are many taxpayers and more than a few city officials that support this point of view.

Like the ol’ saying goes, “when you throw rocks at a pack of dogs, the dog that gets hit is the one that yelps.”

to Yelp Yelp Yelp! Chaska, Minnesota, United States #656917

Thank goodness that's not majority view ... or vote.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #668577

Guess again Sweet Cheeks.

Grace Church Eden Prairie Gravy Train will eventually come off the tracks.

to Anonymous #720517

Sadly, like many high profile churches, there is a history of misconduct and controversial decisions. sigh ... .!

to Anonymous #771477



to Anonymous #809734

And *** will freeze over too...

to Anonymous Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #955818

There is room in H--- for many Church attendees.

Your huge facilities will one day be turned into a Mausoleum.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #656757

I happen to volunteer every week at Grace as a FREE tutor to help children in our Latino community.I absolutely love it and have developed a wonderful relationship with my student.

The nights I volunteer the church also provides a FREE clothing closet and a FREE meal to people who are from the community and are in need. I also volunteer at a FREE vacation Bible school in the summer time that sees hundreds of kids from the community everyday. I am truly sorry about your negative experience at Grace.

There are thousands of members and people who attend Grace, and they all contribute through money and volunteering.

to anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #656847

Your volunteerism is to be commended.

Sadly, the author of the original post seems more concerned with throwing eggs at Grace Church than inspiring tax reform. It's impossible to have a battle of reason with an unarmed person.

Chaska, Minnesota, United States #656557

Playing the race card is very disappointing. Shame on you!

Distortion, twisting, blurring of facts and now racism ... so typical.

Call your local and state representatives and have them vote to have everyone pay their fair share of property taxes.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #656648

How is someone calling you out on attacking a single church (that is playing by the same rules of law that every other church is playing by) considered "blurring" the facts? The fact is, your message is not merely a campaign to call local and state reps, it's a campaign to smear one local church too.

Shame on you for not owning up and admitting your error. You could make the same points, as off the mark as they are, without making it about any one church.

to Anonymous Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #661047

Once again, you blur the facts and ignorantly take the commentator out of context.

You religious bigots will end up in H***.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #662257

Only a coward would write such a hateful message and sign "anonymous." I suggest that when one decides who's going to *** and who isn't, he/she should sign their name.

You must feel awfully threatened that someone has a different opinion than you do. Another word for that is intolerance.

And as much as I disagree with your choice of words, I don't believe that has any impact on your place in heaven or ***.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #662319

Then you should sign your name, you smug Anonymous b.ast-ar-d.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #664074

Grace Church Eden Prairie MN

... how pathetic.

to Anonymous Seattle, Washington, United States #747970

Watch those stones! They will break your house too! Tricky that bible huh..

to Anonymous #809737

Sadly, those without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what you need to stay out of there, and nothing else. Please come visit and find out how...


While I don't agree with your point of view, I believe your ideas would be more compelling if you focused your case on tax reform, rather than attacking a single faith community. After all, the church you've referenced has not broken any laws. Your main grudge should be with the laws/tax breaks themselves, and the people responsible for those laws are our elected officials and ultimately the community of voters.

To illustrate, let's consider another example. If I were frustrated that the speed limit was 40 mph in my neighborhood, I could petition for changing the speed limit. But if I went to a discussion board and attacked a single faith community, ethnic group, age group, or social class for driving the speed limit allowed by law, I would not be taken seriously. Instead people would think I have a bigger problem with the group I've attacked. Can you imagine if I lashed black people for driving so fast down my street, when really I just want the speed limit lowered for everyone? It would be ridiculous.

Please consider revising your original post so that it does not single out a faith community to attack, especially as that community has not done anything outside of the law or outside of their mission. You may have some valid points, but they are buried in inappropriate lashings toward a neighborhood faith community.

to Please re***sider your approac #726330

funny you are so very worried about BLACK PEOPLE driving down your street.

sounds racist

Chaska, Minnesota, United States #653422

Here's some more items I've become aware of that Grace does for the community:

- dance studio- used every week by hundreds of families that don't attend Grace

- Karate school- classes in Children's area

- Home School co-ops

- Boy Scouts

- Civil Air Patrol

- Eden Prairie Soccer Association

- English tutoring activities

- host concerts, seminars, the Eden Prairie Home & Garden Show, and Arts & Crafts festival, and more

- Dept. of Homeland Security dog training

- 4 high school and eight college graduations

This year alone, 60,000 - 70,000 people will have gone into a Grace event.

Yeah, I guess Grace isn't doing much in the community at all. I'm sure people in homes there would have done much more (sarcasm added)...

to DA Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #653636

How insulting you are to Taxpayers. Your religious arrogance and smugness is appalling.

Taxpayer "in their homes" pay a huge tax bill that enable freeloading nonprofits to exist.

Specifically, there are costs and major fees paid by groups for facility rental and ticket sales.

How naïve you are or perhaps dishonest to infer that 100% of all costs associated with these events are given free of charge.

I vote *** specific to your post.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #654564

Public schools and community centers also collect fees for building rentals and special events.There's nothing wrong with that.

Does not take away from the good of schools ... or churches.

Let's not attack churches, as if they are doing something wrong.If you're unhappy with laws, petition your elected officials, but don't complain about churches who are fulfilling their missions statements within the law.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #654656

I deeply resent the inference made by DA that nonprofits give back to the community by providing these services free. This twisting and blurring of facts is typical of these groups.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #754994

Public schools and community centers are 100% tax payer funded. These valuable facilities are 100% available to the entire community. When there is waste and fraud in the public sector, those who manage these important resources are soundly criticized or prosecuted for violating the public trust. Nevertheless, charities and other nonprofits have become a hotbed of tax evasion and abuse, according to the head of the Internal Revenue Service.

Churches are not exempt from public review, criticism or prosecution when the public trust is violated.

The entirety of this post has specifically been to create public awareness of an abusive tax exemption.

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #776133

Grace Church Eden Prairie MN concerts

Show up at almost any event with out a paid ticket and you will likely be refused admission.

Who is kidding who here?

Some one is always paying the bill for these "events". Want to have a wedding at Grace Church ... pay the man. Want to use a room to host a party ...

pay the man.

There is no such thing as FREE

Using your "ministry numbers" (exuberant exaggeration) 60 to 70 thousand people paid the cost of admission.


What i would like to know is why?Are you all up in these people business.Do you not have anything else to do with your life.This is no "Concern Of Your's".People like you need to mind their "Business".You are a "Sorry Excuse for anytype of person."Noisy ***".

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #650406

I agree about minding one's own business, but no reason to call anyone a sorry excuse of a person.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #652225

It is a taxpayer’s duty to carefully question if the public trust and interests are served by offering massive tax breaks to nonprofits. The question is relative and critical to hold accountable all 501c3 nonprofits.

Generally speaking according to the IRS, wasteful spending, fraud and abusive practices are pervasive among nonprofits.

Furthermore, a tax break to a specific group incur a tax increase to stake holders who may not share or support those same values or beliefs.

The only means to fairly level the playing field is to require all 501c3 nonprofits who own real estate to pay their fair share of property taxes .

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #653568

Let's get this idea right're saying the IRS is accusing non profits of wasteful spending.

If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

The government is the ultimate example of wasteful spending -- an no non profit can come close to being more wasteful than Uncle Sam.I'm sorry, but this point hurts your overall argument.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #653628

The state of Minnesota does an exemplary job of fiscal responsibility.Please outline what you define as wasteful and sit back and watch all the special interest groups squawk.

The IRS has identified nonprofits a "hot bet" of waste, fraud and abuse.It is time that this Gravy Trained is derailed, the party come to an end and all stake holders pay their share to support the cost of government.

to Anonymous #654080

Anyone who thinks the State is an "exemplary" example of fiscal responsibility just lost credibility in my mind.No business that operated with the same degree of fiscal responsibility as our government could stay in business.

How is running annual deficits responsible?

The government is the WORST example of fiscal restraint and responsibility there is.Someone would have to be nuts to want more of that and less private sector solutions.

to Anonymous Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #654431

Whose entitlements do you suggest cutting?

Rather than a meat cleaver to the state budget, why not have nonprofits pay thier fair shair of property taxes.


to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #654567

If you can't see wasteful government spending with your own eyes, I doubt you'd be open to anyone's suggestions or comments on the topic. There is no greater example of inefficient, wasteful spending than government programs.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #654662

You are being critical of the many services that the State of Minnesota from which you receive direct benefit. Which programs are you wanting to cut? Which programs are wasteful? Which programs are you willing to go without.

No doubt, not the programs from which you receive a direct benefit or entitlement.

The commentator is simply suggesting that all stakeholders who own real estate pay their fair share of cost to support the benefits you receive from your government.

All that live in this great state of Minnesota receive the benefits of nice roads, bridges, schools, parks, law enforcement, fire dept, special projects and critical welfare programs that feed and house the needy and dependent.

It is time that everyone pay their fair share of taxes

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #655392

Dawg, you finna talk like this and you ain't gon' get no where, word. Nah mean?

to Anonymous #665219

I gots my Obama phone and free pancakes. Mine yo own buszyness Dawg!

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #649632

Income Statement 2011 -2012

Total Assets including land building $53,159.589

Total Support and Revenue $14,987,356.00

Numbers from Grace Church Website / Public Information

Grace Church offers free programs paid from proceeds earned from ticket sales, events, concerts, facility rental, weddings and meetings.

The issue here is not the good works that benefit church attendees or donated $5 million dollar resorts (now removed from the tax role)to grow even more attendance and contributions.

This issue is one of fairness and equity.

Our community and society would be better off without the state having to raise money utilizing pull tabs, electronic bingo and other forms of gambling. These forms of revenue are highly toxic and corrosive to our community.

The state budget short fall would easily be erased if everyone including churches and nonprofits paid their fair share of property taxes.

There are at least several hundred million dollars exempt property taxes that go uncollected each year. These currently uncollected property taxes would fund hiring more teachers, lunch programs for students, community centers and yes, even a new stadium.

It is time for fairness and equity.

Call your local and state elected representatives and insist everyone pay their fair share of property taxes.

to Truth Verses Fiction Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States #649723

So curious why you're singling out Grace Church, which seems to follow the law. Your campaign to raise tax revenue for the state has unfairly attacked a local church that is following the rules and doing wonderful things for our town.

I am glad you're not elected to public service. Charging non profits taxes would shrink the work of non profits to increase the size of government. I don't know many people who believe government can be more efficient than the private sector. What's next, are you going to take aim at Sharing and Caring Hands, the nationally recognized homeless shelter, because they are sitting on expensive property Downtown near Target Field? Are they riding the gravy train too?

You are mistaken to think that the State is selling pull tabs to subsidize churches and other non profits. The work of our local non profits SAVES the government money by providing services much more affordably and effectively. And you seem to be rationalizing that collecting property taxes from non-profits could increase government coffers to "fund hiring more teachers, lunch centers ..." which are all also non profits that don't pay tax. So which is it -- are you for more non profits exempt from paying tax or not?

BTW, the church "resort" you refer to was a single family's vacation home -- IN WISCONSIN -- that was donated to the church to use the property as a camp. And Grace Church is not exempt from paying property tax in Wisconsin....

Show more
to Anonymous #649734

The "resort" is a hobby farm donated by one family.The church would like to someday develop the acreage into a camp facility for youth retreats, church retreats, and other organizations to use.

Sounds awfully misleading to refer to it as a church resort.

Aren't public parks tax exempt too? Nobody is complaining that we have too much parkland -- and those acres actually cost us money in upkeep each year. Can you imagine someone suggesting we lose park space to build homes just so our city can bring in more taxes?

Have you ever known the city to lower everyone else's taxes when new homes are built?No matter how much they collect, they'll just spend more.

to Anonymous Englewood, Colorado, United States #652991

Wow! A 5 million dollar camp?

You gotta be kidding me ....

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #653637

Public Parks are part of the Municipality which is supported by Taxpayers dollars.

to Anonymous Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #650022

Your counter points and argument is Silly and Specious

It sounds like you resent paying your share of government that provides for Minnesota roads and bridges, infrastructure, public education, fire, police and general projects that serve the public interest and welfare.

The states mission to provide these critical services to serve the general public welfare and interest trumps any argument for any exemption from paying property taxes.

The state of Minnesota has an exemplary record of effectively administering governance and taking care of indigent, homeless and needy families. In fact, much more needs to be done to grow this important obligation to take care of those who can’t advocate for themselves. There is a continuing important role the private sector does play in serving our community. Nevertheless, the obligation of all stake holders who hold real estate must be equitable and fair.

You bring up and important point regarding nonprofits who control highly valuable real estate in commercial downtown growth areas. Given that all real estate holders must pay real estate taxes, those entities who fail to do so must go through the same legal foreclosure process where the property is sold and property taxes owed will be paid.

Real estate becomes highly valuable only when there is a higher and greater purpose, potential and serves the public interest and welfare.

A similar example is when the government condemned...

A homeless shelter in the center of a dynamic downtown area may not be any more appropriate than a homeless shelter in the middle of Mall of America next to Macy’s. These entities may very well sell the land and reap millions of dollars that would enable them to better serve those who are in need.

When a church or entity nonprofit receives a “tax break” while not technically a subsidy, the entity pays less tax and receives a direct benefit increase to their bottom line.

While churches and nonprofits currently enjoy a “tax break” in the form of being exempt from real estate taxes, you are mistaken to believe that tax payers are not paying more taxes to make up for the deficiency.

I promise you that many taxpayers including important elected city officials share this view. Change in tax exemption for nonprofits is on the horizon.

The $5 million dollar “family home” donated by the Walser family comes with its own airfield, luxury home, shooting range, expansive swimming pool and capacity to house 30 to 40 adults. It is a spectacular property and is by any definition a resort and not a camp with pup tents.

Call your local and state elected officials and tell ‘em that everyone including churches and nonprofits must pay their share of property taxes.

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to Silly and Specious Chaska, Minnesota, United States #650066

Still wrong ... the "air field" is a grass field (doesn't even have cones or lights -- literally just a lawn mowed patch of lawn for a hobby plane). The "luxury home is a 100+ year old FARM HOUSE that will likely be torn down. Only has one full bath, no AC, kitchen stove looks to be from the 50's, crooked floors. Very charming, but by no means luxury. How do I know this? Because the church allowed our outside group to use the property at no charge for our camp. I'm not contesting that they own a nice piece of property (that they pay tax on in WI) -- just want it clear that you're facts are misleading.

I am grateful for police, libraries, public roads, and schools. Also grateful for community centers, public parks, youth centers, food banks, and churches in our community. To single out some non profits (privately run) and not others (publicly run) for taxes is not my idea of fair and balanced. It sounds more like socialism.

I suppose in the end this disagreement will be settled by voters. I don't believe non profits lose their tax exempt status in order to fund more government during my lifetime. Thank God nobody's passed that into law anytime before now.

to Truth Verses Fiction #650955

You want us to call our local and state representatives and insist that everyone pay their fair share of property taxes.Who's everyone?

Just churches? Or every exempt entity including public schools, colleges, parks, museums, community centers, homeless shelters, food banks, etc. too? I wonder what your idea of fair is.

Aren't all of these types of organizations taking up precious land that could be generating taxes?

By the way, the answer is no, none of these groups, or churches, are living off the land.They are all welcome members of our community, and they each enrich and add value to our community in different ways.

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #651136

The general answer is yes specifically 501c3 organizations. ,)

to Anonymous Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #654664

A hobby plane like a remote control attached to a wire....?

How silly you are! Airfield like the one featured can land a variety of aircraft. I am sure that the staff at Grace Church will be able to fly into their resort in style. Hmmmm ...what will be next; a private aircraft owned by the church? They all ready own a tour bus.

Thanks for the chuckle. :grin

to Anonymous #665223

They are not "living off the land." They are living off the backs of hardworking tax payers.

Call your local and state representatives and insist that everyone including non profits pay their fair share of property taxes.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #648407

Discerning readers know that the "facts" shared in the original post, and in many of the responses, are not reliable, and many are untrue. For example, the building/property was not even close to $80M, the annual budget is not $12M, the land is not taxpayer subsidized, etc.). The commentator also fails to remember that the parcel of land -- directly next to an airport -- was an empty field when Grace Church developed it. How much tax was that empty field generating?

What was the economic impact of building a major building in the area? How many hundreds of jobs did that bring to the area over three years of construction? What abou the 80+ permanent jobs brought to the city when the church opened. Or the thousands of church attenders, preschool families, concert-goers, and other visitors each week -- undoubtedly this must have an positive impact on local businesses, restaurants, etc.

Looking at the church website for a moment reveals that the church sponsors many outreach efforts specifically to the Eden Prairie community. These outreaches include, but are not limited to, free clothing, free job counseling for the unemployed, free meals, free groceries, assistance with auto and home repair for single mothers, and free family events. In fact, this week the member of Grace are holding their annual food drive, which has resulted in a half million can/boxes of food donation over the past decade. Much of this food is donated to PROP in Eden Prairie. The church...

Moreover, the church is a not-for-profit entity -- meaning, every dollar of their large budget is spent on ministry and services back to people. Of the thousands of church attenders, don't you think a significant number are local to Eden Prairie? Is it fair to assume that Grace is serving local community members including youth and elderly?

Perhaps the author of the original post would reconsider his/her strong opposition to the church and remember that Eden Prairie High School also does not pay property tax. The church, while not a publicly funded educational organization, is a privately funded (even better) organization that teaches, educated and serves. Eden Prairie is better for having schools, and it is better or having strong churches.

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to Reality Check Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #649532

Agreed! This church has the same rights as any other church in our country. Why throw stones at Grace? Especially from a person who drew such strong conclusions on his first visit.

As one non-profit leader to another, I can assure the complainer that Grace has generously supported our local non profit in EP and shared their wonderful campus time and time again. They are a valued community partner, speaking from personal experience.

I am grateful for a thriving church in our community and don't feel entitled to anything more than what they already do to give back. After all, their primary function is to be a place of worship. Is that really a concern to some people?

to Home in EP Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #650150

A place of worship that doesn't pay real estate taxes to support their fair share of government, roads, bridges, police, fire, rescue and more. :roll

to Home in EP Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #650600

The church is a licensed entity of the state of Minnesota.

It is therefore subject to the laws (not rights) granted by the state of Minnesota. These rights can be changed by the legislator who represent the voters / taxpayers of the state.

I am also grateful for churches who do the Lords work.

The Lords work will continue when all property holders, including churches pay their fair share of property taxes.

:zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz

to Anonymous #650712

Don't hold your breath waiting for this change to happen. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't, because this idea is misguided. Good intentions, but misguided.

to Home in EP #665227

Yes, it is a big concern!

Why do you feel entitled?

Grace Church of Eden Prairie and all groups who control real estate need to be closely monitored and pay a fair share of property taxes.

to Anonymous #738006

The great "Tax Reformation" will begin to occur within President Obama's Transformational Policies.

Transformational Health Care

Transformational Military

Transformational NSA Spying

Transformational Privacy

Transformational IRS

Churches and other non profits generally supported the election of Obama.

Now you are beginning to receive the government for which you voted.

to Home in EP Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #738003

People can worship and pray anytime or anywhere they choose. People can gather to contribute and build mosque's, temples, churches etc. However, these prayer houses needed to support their infrastructure and costs in the form of real estate taxes.

The ABUSE must stop!!

Call your state and local representatives and demand that everyone share the burden of real estate taxes.

Maple Grove, Minnesota, United States #639085

Perhaps the city doesn't need to spend a million bucks hiring 10 more city managers. But I would be in favor of spending 1 million dollars hiring 20 new teachers to better our childrens education.

Every dollar in lost property tax, defunds our schools, community centers etc, that directly benefit the entire community rather than a chosen few.

Are we really better off with the dumbed down education our children sometimes receive due to underfunded education budgets??

Shakopee, Minnesota, United States #638796

Kudo's to nonprofits who give free lunch to people in need.

Counseling and prayers do help … but Jesus said to “feed his sheep”.

Kind’a hard to see the sheep among all the Benz, BMW, Lexus and Audi’s packd in the parking lot Sunday morning.

or ...perhaps all the homeless and destitute people in need are now driving luxury cars. Opps ... their goes a needy homeless person goin' out of the church parking lot with their "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker! Praise Praise Praise!

So glad Grace Church is doing their part... what a relief!

Honk Honk!! :grin

to Kudo"s #986686

Maybe you missed the part about the free community dinner that happens every Thursday evening a few posts up.FREE DINNER...

there is your "feeding my sheep". Oh, and during that FREE dinner, they have tables upon tables of free bread and bakery goods donated from area grocery stores for people to take home. And then they open their "clothing closet" where people can go and shop for free clothing and shoes, etc. OH YA- and then there are FREE hair stylists that come and do peoples hair for them as well.

Hmm- seems like Grace Church is following the commands of Jesus when he said to "feed my sheep" and to take care of widows and orphans. And then to finish Thursday evenings, there are the COMMUNITY CARE nights where there are support groups of may kinds that are open to the public attending to help them get though life's hardest times through fellowship, support and by focusing on Gods word. Then there is the biblical counseling department that offers FREE counseling services for people or couples going through difficult times. FREE!!!!!

Going to a therapist can be very expensive, especially if your insurance doesn't cover it! And then there is all of the BIG SERVE events that the Grace family does where they go into all the communities around the Twin Cities and volunteer times at local non-profit ministries and they donate tens of thousands of dollars of products (such as passenger vans, new beds, etc) to those ministries as well. Being as giving...

They do pay massive electric/gas/water bills etc. And since they are a private organization they need to charge to cover those expenses. Pastor Troy drives a black Chevy Avalanche pick-up truck like MANY other people around here have. Nothing fancy.

There are nice cars in the parking lot of Grace on a Sunday morning (like there is in EVERY church parking lot across MN on a Sunday morning). But I'm guessing you have never been there on a Sunday morning because there are also PLENTY of beater cars in the parking lot as well. So you can take your little "beep beep" snide comments and educate yourself a little more by going through the lot on a Sunday am. Then try going in and meet the real people that go there.

Some who are very wealthy and some that are dirt poor. But they all love each-other and there is no judgement of anyone based on where they are at on she socio-economic grid. It's hard to take you serious when you are talking about homeless people with their bumper stickers that say "honk if you love Jesus" on it. You try to come across like a good God-fearing believer but it's easy to see your true intentions.

Save your snarky, off-color humor for another comment section.

GO to Grace one Sunday and see for yourself.I can guarantee you that you have never been there.

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Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #638775

It is not just Grace Chuch, it is all churches and non profits that take more in tax breaks compared to what is given back to the community. If you add up all the land value goobled up by non pofits, and calculate the loss in property taxes, it amounts to a loss of hundreds of million dollars each year in property taxes and an increase in property taxes on residents who pay and pay.

It is not that non profts don't give or return value. The point is they could choose to do alot more, but rather elect to spend their money feathering their own nests for the benefit of their members on luxury resorts and mult million dollar chaples.

Wake up people! It is time that EVERYONE pay their share of property taxes.

Get Off The GRAVY Train Buddy!! :(

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #638402

5+ homes per ACRE?? Are they stacked on top of each other??

to Huh? Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #638778

The average includes condo, townhome and appartment communities. :upset


Since anonymous left this, anonymous will reply. I am a pilot. Do you know WHY the land just west of the AIRPORT is not colonized yet?

Hmmmmmm....could it be it is on FINAL APPROACH to runway 10 Left and 10 Right? And a few years back, Flying Cloud Airport was ranked as the 12th busiest airport due to the number of student takeoffs and landings, beating out Chicago O'Hare international? Want to put YOUR house there? NO ONE did.

The land wasn't generating value. In fact, they probably got more money just clearing and selling the trees than taxes ever would have generated.

But more importantly, what does Grace do?

As an unemployed person, no longer in aviation, I have attended their Thursday morning Job Transitions support groups. I have attended their networking Christmas party for unemployed job seekers in the twin cities, with over 300 attending. I have had free meals they offer every Thursday night and attended one on one counseling for support.

Other ministries, such as grief counseling for loss of spouse, (death, divorce, dying) and other social programs the there is never money for are supported directly by the church.

So before we go and take shots at another Christian organization, perhaps we look at what they do, what they offer and see how it affects the community and ask are we better off with them or without them? I know, as a former Eden Prairie resident, $1 million to the city is the equivalent...

Like we are really worse off not have 10 more city bureaucrats instead of a church serving 10,0000......

Wake up people

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to underdog Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #655150

Perhaps you can now find employment as a pilot flying Grace Church Staff around in and out of the airfield on their resort property.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #638294

The church absolutely gives back to the people of Eden Prairie.Not only with volunteerism, but spiritually to the people who attend.

I live in Eden Prairie and I go to Grace Church. I love it. I get a lot out of their services. In fact, the services are FREE and open to the public!

Maybe if you all took advantage of the FREE classes and services they offer, you would see the value they bring to our community. They'll even give you FREE breakfast.

The state is taking tax revenue to pay for the new Vikings you see them giving away free tickets?

to Blessed Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #645367

Keep those "spritual" benefits come'in .... lol!

You evidently know which side of your free pancakes to butter.


Yes, they are sinners just lke everyone else.

So Don't blame them for being the way they are ... they can't help it. :grin

Grace Church Eden Prairie MN

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #610188

When the light of day is shined on abusive practices, the parasites always accuse others of being haters.I see your sticking by the play book.

Grace Church has a $12 million dollar budget and only a tiny teeny fraction of that massive dollar amount allegedly makes it back to the local community. Where was Grace Church when fire wiped out the 12 Oaks apartments and displaced dozens of families? United Way and other nonprofits were present, even the Salvation Army contributed beds and clothing. These reputable charities return 80% of contributed dollars to needy families offering real help.

I am a long time Eden Prairie TAX PAYER and I do resent being forced to subsidizing buildings and salaries of "professional" ministers.

Sorry, but I will choose to get my "goose bumps" offering real help to local families rather than sitting in an 80 million dollar "hallow drum" of a building.I wonder if Jesus were to walk into Grace Church if your leadership would be on the receiving end of a lash as when He drove out the abusers from the Temple.


Back again.There are thousands of volunteer hours given by people who attend the church.

Maybe you should count that in the equation. A chapel was added so a traditional and contemporary service could occur simultaneously, so older people would have to come at 8am and services would go beyond noon. The bus you are referring to wouldn't even start on a 30+ degree day because it is old and tired- quite the catch it sounds like. Volunteers go downtown to help with homeless people, providing meals, etc.

to them. And who are you to judge if some people across the world are helped in addition to local people. Are they not valuable too?

It plain and simple boils down to a hatred you appear to have in general- high level of resentment and anger. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ would significantly help, if you don't have one already.

If you do, I would pray for some more peace and love.:)

to DA #1260195

Life giving Church?

More like a coven of blood sucking vampires.

How Sad!


Pastor Jeff Kornoelje Grace Church Eden Prairie MN directs some of the budget for local out reach.Call (952)926-1884.

Express your views and hold 'em accountable.:eek

to Anonymous Shakopee, Minnesota, United States #656018

Jack ***! :grin

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #703165

Pastor Jeff Kornoelje?? Yes I agree!

to Anonymous Chaska, Minnesota, United States #661017

I agree he is a Jack A**! 8)

to Anonymous #734792

Recently TERMINATED FROM JOB: Pastor Jeff Kornoelje Grace Church Eden Prairie.

That decision by the Elder Board is years over due!

to Anonymous #807928

Stay off the Internet ... From those who monitor and care.

And yes i agree... *** hole!!

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #600550

Grace Church Eden Prairie congregation appears to be smug and selfish.They lavish upon themselves millions of dollars while throwing paltry crumbs at people in their local community.

They are disgusting and must make God want to vomit.They are an example of why the laws governing “nonprofits” must be changed.

to Trudy V. #986690

LOL- really "Trudy"?You haven't read the posts here about everything that Grace gives back into the community.

How does the congregation appear to be "smug" to you? DO you attend? Have you attended? How would you know?

From looking at it through the window of the internet??

LOL!Nice try sweetie.

Naples, Florida, United States #597407

I bet that and other churches do more for their community than the person who wrote this drivel.

to LadyScot Houston, Texas, United States #600556

Ooh ya must have named yourself Christian.Bets are against the practices of my denomination, but if Lady interprets this person's opinion as drivel he/she likely has been brainwashed by some semi-denominational-tax-haven-in-the-name-of-the-Lord.

Praise praise praise.

to Anonymous Naples, Florida, United States #608982

No, just wondering where this hatred of churches and Christians comes from. Those who live in glass houses should never undress in front of windows.

I still want to know what you all do for your community.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #596844

Grace Church Eden Prairie MN should know better. Even a parasite knows not to kill its host.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States #593138

:grin "DA" .... how ironic!

to Anonymous #1019874

How immature a comment...

Bloomington, Minnesota, United States #592812

Re Gravy Train.

I believe the actual cost against the balance sheet for the various ministries listed, weekly community care nights - Crossroads Career Network job assistance - Community dinner and clothing closet - Auto repair, etc, may be less than the annual salary of the senior pastor.

Furthermore, it is shameful that Grace Church sends millions of dollars over seas, while local homeless shelters are at their capacity, food banks are struggling, joblessness is growing and foreclosures are unacceptably high.

In my opinion, Grace Church does a poor job justifying its tax exemption investing back into the local Eden Prairie community.

Eden Prairie Tax Payers should not be forced to subsidize “ministries” along with luxury tour bus, a newly acquired $5 million dollar resort and a brand new $2 million dollar chapel all of which primarily benefit members.

I agree the “Gravy Train” must come to an end.

to Jack #650953

How could anyone think it's "shameful" to give millions of dollars to people across the world who live in some of the worst poverty imaginable?That's shameful?

You might not agree, but is shameful really the right adjective? Should people who donated money to help the tsunami victims be ashamed? Or people who donated to help the Haiti earthquake relief efforts?

Should they be shamed is those important acts of humanitarianism prompted their response, perhaps before donating to local shelters?I think what's shameful is for anyone to sit in judgement like some of the writers of the previous posts.


So not contributing to the community:

- weekly community care nights

- Crossroads Career Network job assistance

- Community dinner and clothing closet

- Auto repair

- Barnabas disability ministry

- Handyman ministry

- Peacemaking ministry

- others not listed that I can't remember or don't even know about

This is for people in and outside of Grace.

Plus a missions budget that is over $1M+ annually, helping people across the street and around the world.

Why don't you go to the church for a few weeks to see all they do have to offer before you offer inaccurate information. We would love to have you there!

Rapid City, South Dakota, United States #591404

I have thought this for many years.Very few churches help people in need, any more.

I feel that even the smaller churches should loose their tax exempt status because of how little they actually do for the community. Whenever any church has to build a new structure, it is never just a plain wooden rectangle anymore. You can't tell me they aren't making a profit.

Maybe their mission work qualifies them for non-profit status, but if that is the case it should be done in the local community.I also feel that churches should no longer furnish a home for the pastor.

to anonymous Webster, Minnesota, United States #664159

Re = Grace Church Eden Prairie MN

so very right you are!

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