Per Capita for Grand Lodge of Texas

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by rhitland, Jul 13, 2010.

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How would you vote on the per capita recommendation?

  1. Yes

    40 vote(s)
    54.1%
  2. No

    27 vote(s)
    36.5%
  3. Wait I need more time, this is complicated

    6 vote(s)
    8.1%
  4. Never ever

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. could care less, I will go to the restroom when this comes up at GL

    1 vote(s)
    1.4%
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  1. WarriorProphet

    WarriorProphet Registered User

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    Indeed. I think the per capita actually needs to be closer to $50 and this vote is just to get the point out. It should have been going up about $5 a decade since the 80s, and now we have fallen behind with the grand endowment suffering like most of our own investments over the past 3-5 years plus inflation. We just didn't keep it up.
     
  2. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Heard something interesting last night. I was at Marlin Lodge where the GM was making his last official lodge appearance as GM for the year. He spoke about wanting support to suspend Art. 318 to be able to pay money back to the Lodges from the Endowment Fund. He said it might only be $2-$5.
     
  3. macjames53

    macjames53 Registered User

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    I think the cry that an increase would kill off lodges is a smoke screen. Are you telling me that going up $9.75 per capita is going to run lodges into the ground? If that's so they aren't very stable to begin with. These lodges need to bring their dues into the 21st century. Most people pay more for a good meal at a restaurant than they do on their yearly dues. The GL is in dire straits and could demise if we don't raise the funds. The GL should give an overview of the finances to stop those who say it isn't reducing costs just asking for more money. Brothers this is OUR Grand Lodge are you willing to see it fail?
     
  4. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    It is easy to imagine a lodge that could be seriously hurt by a hike that big in the per capita. Take a lodge with a two hundred members, a hundred and fifty of which were good boys and bought endowed memberships like Grand Lodge asked them to. But there's no money coming in from the endowments, so the remaining fifty members are stuck with paying not only all the cost of maintaining the lodge, but also the per capita of all the endowed members. Now crank that per capita up to $25. Each member would have to pay an additional forty dollars a year just to cover the per capita increase.
     
  5. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Excellent example and the exact reason why it is such a hot button topic!!

    A lodge I recently visited is a one of these such lodges. 70% of their membership is endowed. This increase of $10.75 will cost them about $1,290. That amount will wipe out their savings. To cover the extra, they would have to raise dues for the unendowed members by $40. Being a small rural lodge, that would make membership fees a big deal for some of those 30%. So when they don't pay their dues, that will end up throwing the lodge short that much more.

    As for GL Budget, the GL hasn't cut everything they could yet. We have several people who have looked over the GL budget and found ways to cut the budget. Of course one has to ask, if GL is in such dire straits, then why aren't we cutting our charitable donations back? I know that many organization count on our money, but if we can't afford to keep the house, how can we afford to keep giving out money? So the burden of GL being short on their budget falls squarely on the backs of the lodges, and in those lodges the backs of the dues paying members. That isn't meant to be a slight against the endowed members, since the endowed memberships were presented as being a benefit to them, the lodge and GL. And Endowed memberships are a benefit when the market is good. They were set up to take care of a per capita to GL for the lodge and added money for GL.
     
  6. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Let me start my post by saying I do believe this resolution needs to pass in one form or another. It could be really bad if this fails and we cannot see an increase for another 5 years. The trick is we HAVE to as a Grand Lodge legislate better rules for the use of our money. We will have 2 years before the increase takes effect and at next Grand Lodge we need to porpose resolutions that limits spending in some areas and require it in others like education.
    The increase will hurt some lodges there is no doubt about that but show me a time when a monetary increase went over with roses and candy canes in any organization? :) Money is a tough issue and we need to be prepared to make tough calls and ask tough questions.
    If you have an issue with the increase find a finance com. member or GL officer and express that to them and you will be surprised how open they are with you. If they are not find another. This increase is a very important issue to our Grand Lodge and we all need to gather as much information as we can to make the best decision we can this grand lodge and future ones as well.
     
  7. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    I agree with Brother Rhit. We do need to make some changes at all levels. This year, we increased our dues by $10.00. First time any one could actually remember it being done. I had to be the bad guy... But, we sent out post cards ahead of time informing everyone, and asking them to come to Lodge, respond by mail, or contact the J.W., S.W., or myself to let us know of their concerns. No one responded, and so we voted to do it. A short bit later, we were informed GL was raising the Per Capita by $10.75, so essentially, we will be adding $0.75 to each one to meet it... We are a "Poor" Lodge. We do get our dues in, we have been having fundraisers, and we have had a few extra donations, but it seems as though we are pouring Blood into a body with no bottom on it. Every time we get a few dollars ahead, some one comes along, and says we need to pay it out. This is not for random things, it's things like the GL dues, the utilities, building issues (we are upstairs, no windows, and the OLD A/C bit the dust right at the beginning of summer), so we too are tightening our belts. We are still very strong to provide a scholarship to Seniors of two schools in the area. In the past, the Lodge has given some nice one's, but they really had to hustle to get the money together. This year, we will HAVE to scale it back a bunch, but it will still help a student a little, and show the community we are here, and that we care. But, this all comes with planning. There has to be dedication to the ideas and projects as well. We have tried to get members to come to Lodge with little luck, so there is a very small core group that makes the meetings, and does the work. This group consists of about 6-8 Brothers, and this is out of about 60 members. Like GL, we have some things we need to do to our building, one of them being the HVAC also. Ours is a small amount compared to theirs, it's "only" $10,000.00 to get it back in shape. We need to paint and replace curtains, that is easy enough, but the paint will cost money that's not really there today. We will make it, because we have decided some how we're going to. GL on the other hand I think is needing to rethink, and maybe spread out some of the things they want, that, like us, should been already happening. It cannot be done over night, but we need to express our thoughts, and make sure they get to those in charge. Unlike Congress, they do get "most" of the information :)
     
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    This is a document showing all states per capita. While we are no Californa, I feel we should not be at the bottom of the list either.

    11-29-2010 5;23;44 AM.jpg 11-29-2010 5;23;05 AM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  9. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    My thread with these amendments where lost in translation so wanted to repost them with my introduction to them. I hope maybe the introductions make them easier to understand. I plan to present them in this order as well.

    Grand Masters Recommendation:
    Amendment 3 offered by:
    • William “Rhit” Moore
    • Worshipful Master
    • Fort Worth Lodge 148
    Resolved, that Article 163, Masonic Laws, be amended so as to hereafter read as follows:
    Article 163 amendment
    Each Subordinate Lodge shall pay to the Grand Secretary fees, dues, and contributions as follows:
    1. Unchanged
    2. Unchanged
    3. Unchanged
    4. Unchanged
    5. Unchanged
    6. Unchanged
    7. For the use of the Masonic Home and School for each member on the rolls of the Lodge, to be remitted annually with its returns, the sum of $1.25 required by Section 2 Article IX (pg52) of the Constitution, plus the sum of $3.75 for the use of Teas Masonic Charities Foundation, Inc. the total um of……………$5.oo
    For the use of the Masonic Home and School for each member on the rolls of the Lodge, to be remitted annually with its returns, the sum of $1.25 required by Section 2 Article IX (pg52) of the Constitution, plus the sum of $3.75 for the use of Teas Masonic Charities Foundation, Inc. the total um of……………$0.00 until 2014, no more or less than three consecutive years, at which time the fee will be fully reinstated as heretofore approved.
    8. Unchanged
    9. Unchanged
    10. Unchanged
    11. Unchanged
    12. Unchanged
    13. Unchanged
    14. Unchanged

    This amendment my Brothers would relieve lodges of $5.00 from their per capita payment which goes to in house charities. Our in-house charities have ample funds for years to come and have other sources to draw funds from if needed. This amendment would suspend the fees for three years, at which time the fees would be fully reinstated. The purpose of this amendment is to lessen the burden of a per capita increase by decreasing the amount we put away for in-house charity.


    Grand Masters Recommendation:
    Amendment 2 offered by:
    • William “Rhit” Moore
    • Worshipful Master
    • Fort Worth Lodge 148
    Resolved, that Article 163, Masonic Laws, be amended so as to hereafter read as follows:
    Each Subordinate Lodge shall pay to the Grand Secretary fees, dues, and contributions as follows:
    1. Unchanged
    2. Unchanged
    3. Unchanged
    4. Unchanged
    5. Unchanged
    6. For the Grand Lodge General Fund, to be remitted by the Lodge with its annual returns, for each degree conferred as required by Section 2 (pg52) of Article IX of the Constitution the sum of……….$1.oo
    For the Grand Lodge General Fund, to be remitted by the Lodge with its annual returns, for each degree conferred as required by Section 2 (pg52) of Article IX of the Constitution the sum of……….$15.00
    7. Unchanged
    8. Unchanged
    9. Unchanged
    10. Unchanged
    11. Unchanged
    12. Unchanged
    13. Unchanged
    14. Unchanged

    This amendment my brothers would increase the degree fee we pay to the Grand Lodge General Fund from $1 dollar per degree to $15 dollars per degree. The purpose of this amendment is to allow lodges with much more resources to draw from, help the smaller struggling lodges who rarely if ever do degrees. In 2008 Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas performed over 6000 degrees which would constitute $84,000 for the Grand Lodge general fund. If this amendment is approved brothers it would be very wise for every lodge to seriously consider a degree fee increase in your lodge. I know of a lodge who charges $150 dollars per degree and did over 100 degrees last year so I know men will pay for the mysteries after all they are some of the most valuable assets a man will ever have in his possession.


    Grand Masters Recommendation:
    Amendment 4 offered by:
    • William “Rhit” Moore
    • Worshipful Master
    • Fort Worth Lodge 148
    Resolved, that Article 163, Masonic Laws, be amended so as to hereafter read as follows:
    Article 163 amendment
    Each Subordinate Lodge shall pay to the Grand Secretary fees, dues, and contributions as follows:
    1. Unchanged
    2. Unchanged
    3. Unchanged
    4. Unchanged
    5. Unchanged
    6. Unchanged
    7. Unchanged
    8. Unchanged
    9. Unchanged
    10. For the Grand Lodge General Fund to be remitted by the Lodge with its Annual Returns, for each member on the rolls of the Lodge, the sum of $.50 required by Section 2 of Article IX (pg52) plus $6.40, the total sum of…….$6.90
    For the Grand Lodge General Fund to be remitted by the Lodge with its Annual Returns, for each member on the rolls of the Lodge, the sum of $.50 required by Section 2 of Article IX (pg52) plus $15.40, the total sum of…….$15.90
    11. Unchanged
    12. Unchanged
    13. Unchanged
    14. Unchanged


    This amendment my brothers if approved would increase the per capita payment by $9 dollars, making the total amount of the per capita fee $23.25. The purpose of this amendment is to relieve some of the per capita increase which is now covered by the degree fee increase approved by the former amendment.

    Grand Masters Recommendation:
    Amendment 1 offered by:
    • William “Rhit” Moore
    • Worshipful Master
    • Fort Worth Lodge 148
    Resolved, that Article 163, Masonic Laws, be amended so as to hereafter read as follows:
    Each Subordinate Lodge shall pay to the Grand Secretary fees, dues, and contributions as follows:
    1. Unchanged
    2. Unchanged
    3. Unchanged
    4. Unchanged
    5. For the use of the Texas Masonic Charities Foundation, Inc. for each Master Masons Degree conferred, which the Lodge shall from each applicant for said degree, in addition to the regular fee charged by the Lodge, and which sums, when collected, shall be remitted by the Lodge to the Grand Secretary with the annual returns, as provided in Article 318 (pg171), the sum of ……$25.00
    For the use of the Texas Masonic Charities Foundation, Inc. for each Master Masons Degree conferred, which the Lodge shall from each applicant for said degree, in addition to the regular fee charged by the Lodge, and which sums, when collected, shall be remitted by the Lodge to the Grand Secretary with the annual returns, as provided in Article 318 (pg171), the sum of ……$10.00
    6. Unchanged
    7. Unchanged
    8. Unchanged
    9. Unchanged
    10. Unchanged
    11. Unchanged
    12. Unchanged
    13. Unchanged
    14. Unchanged


    Furthermore be it resolved, Article 318 of Masonic law be amended so as to hereafter read as follows:
    Art. 318. Twenty-Five Ten Dollar Donation to Texas Masonic Charities Foundation. There shall be presented to each Brother receiving the Master’s Degree a Certificate on Form 29, setting forth the fact the Twenty-Five Ten Dollars paid by him under Art. 163-5 has been so paid as a contribution to the Texas Masonic Charities Foundation. Such presentation shall be made in open Lodge by the Worshipful Master or under his direction at the close of the degree following the presentation of the Lambskin Apron. An appropriate address concerning the Texas Masonic Charities Foundation may be given at such presentation. When the Secretary sends in his Annual Returns of the Lodge required by Art. 488 he shall transmit to the Grand Secretary the amount received during the preceding Masonic year from the Brothers contributing such Twenty-Five Dollar donations together with the full name of each contributing Brother. (Revised 2006).

    This amendment my brothers if approved would reduce the Master Masons degree donation given to in-house charities by $15 dollars. Our in-house charities have ample funds for years to come and have other sources to draw funds from if needed. The purpose of this amendment is intended to lessen the burden of degree fee increases that are needed to benefit our Grand Lodge general fund.
     
  10. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    If amendment 2 fails I will withdraw amendments 4 and 1 and just vote on the GM recommendation as is.
     
  11. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Well thought out amendment Bro. Rhit!! I agree with them and the logic behind them. I know many people in my Lodge have asked why the GL just doesn't lessen its charitable comment in some way to help out. I think that a big source of the discontent is that GL is upping the per capita without scaling back some of their contributions.

    A word of warning, I do remember someone connected with GL saying something to the effect that they were adament about not lowering their charitable donations from per capita, so I think you will have a fight on your hands with this regardless of how logical it sounds. Regardless, I will start spreading your amendments to the other officers and PMs of my Lodge who will be at GL later this week.
     
  12. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    You are right brother Dave I have heard the same thing that lowering the charity inour per capita would put our ad valureum tax credit we just got at risk. I do not know the language of the legislation but I would guess it had to do with our charity for society not for each other as masons and this would not effect our charitiable contribution to society or ou members in anyway. The in-house charities have millions backing them and the Square and Compassses backs them both up which has millions as well so there will be no less charity handed out if we lessen what we pay in the per capita. I know I am preaching to the choir and we all feel the charity is a good thing and we should contribute to it what we can but within reason.
     
  13. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I have not read the legislation either, but I would say you are correct. It would have to be a percentage of our income marked for non-profit organzations, but I think we more then excede it, otherwise the increase in $10.75 increase in per capita going straight to operating costs instead of being halved would be an issue. I would also think our time working for charities would be taken into as well. Which I believe most of us are always happy to give of our time to help, aid and assist.

    I think you have hit on a gem of an idea with your amendments.
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Sorry, Brethren, but I must disagree with you both. It is the amount of charity disbursed, not the amount taken in, that determines whether or not we qualify for the ad valorem exemption. I still think that, as there is plenty of money already in our charitable coffers, the entire per capita of $14.25 should, at least for the present, be used for GL operations.

    In other news, I wonder if we're going to hear a version of the following @ GL:

    A pastor got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets." :wink:
     
  15. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    You are not disagreeing with me Brother I feel the same way. I wish the whole 14.25 did go to charity and maybe it will in the end but right now I know we have a better chance at a snow ball fight in hell than do away with all of our money in per capita to charity. To many feel Freemasonry is a charity and we have to gently pull that rug out from under them so no one loses their footing! ;)
    I just heard that it was not an option to cut charity in per capita because of the ad-valureum tax break but I did not buy that then and I do not now.
     
  16. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Just got word that my amendmenst are a no go for this year. I was told 1-3 of my amendments where not germane to the subject matter of the Grand Masters Recommendation. I had thought since this all had to do with per capita payment it would fly but I now know it has to be more specific than that. I do plan to tweak them a bit and submit them next year along with a few others.
     
  17. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    This has been great discussion and insight my brothers and we did a good thing today passing the increase IF we follow up with the proper rules and regs. to see the money is spent proper to increase our mystic as Texas Masons not hols the status quo.
     
  18. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Agreed. Most didn't like the increase, but it was necessary. Now as Bro. Rhit stated, it's time to follow up with our diligence.
     
  19. Casey

    Casey Mandalorian Premium Member

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    Well my lodge has had it's first stated meeting since the conference. Needless to say there were a few discussions regarding it. More along the lines of our lodge needing to raise our dues. I have no problem with that and will gladly do my part. A point was brought up that made me stop to think though. I'm sure it's been brought up and discussed before though. I just probably missed it.

    A MM can't vote at GL? I understand the reasoning behind that, it would be pandemonium if everyone could speak and vote at GL. But these decisions affect all of us, and when some feel their opinion is not considered or important when they have been taught to meet upon the level.... is a little disconcerting.

    If this has already been brought up my apologies, this thread is now up to 18 pages... LOL
     
  20. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    The system is set up for a Master Masons voice to be heard through your representatives which are your line officers or a friendly past master if you can get him on board wiht your idea. The reasining behind that is certianly not to make someone feel they are not met upon the level it is to prevent it turning into a 6 day event and it keeps those who do not have experience enoung in the craft to properly undersatnd the issue at hand from speaking incorrectly. Our Grand Lodge has one of the best systems for balance.
     
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