Plate Update

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by nick1368, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

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    Indeed... besides, while a Masonic plate (or any other displays of affiliation) are a sign of probable association, no true brother would accept that alone as proof. Our EA obligation reminds us of the importance of properly verifying a brother as such before going too far.
     
  2. ShadyGrove821

    ShadyGrove821 Registered User

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    According the Texas DMV website:

    http://www.txdmv.gov/vehicles/license_plates/sponsoring_orgs/faq.htm

    "If your application is approved, an $8,000 deposit will be required before work on the plate begins. The deposit offsets the initial costs to produce, sell and distribute the plate. We will work with your group through the design and manufacturing process."

    "... under Texas law, once 1,900 plates are sold or renewed, the deposit is returned to the organization."


    Are there 1,900 Texans (Masons and non-masons) willing to pony up $30 so that $22 goes to the Grand Lodge general fund? I might consider springing for a plate if that $22 went to the Masonic Children & Family Services.

    Grand Lodge must drastically cut its spending, starting with the Texas Mason Magazine. Did you receive the Winter 2011 edition? What a shiny waste of paper!

    Thanks for listening to my rant.
     
  3. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother Bob, I agree 100% with you on the quality of output and I think with continuing pressure we can get that slowly changed. The Texas Mason Magazine has for sometime been embarrassing and I have questioned the validity of it for several years. The educational content is minimal if at all and the focus seems to always be in the past or a history article in lieu of a "where we are headed" progressive thoughts piece. The cost itself should be reason to cut it. With that I don't see the 1900 people quota being that big of an issue. It isn't so much the 1900 people but 1900 sets of plates. Many families have 2 or 3 vehicles. As far as the money going to the Masonic Children and Family fund I would have to disagree here. According to the List of Lodges Masonic book it breaks down how much of the incoming dues each Grand Lodge gives to charity and Texas is WAY at the top. When the Home and School was sold that money went to a charity fund and the money made from the mineral rights are too going to a charity fund. Our charities are well funded to the point we are suffering in our "daily operations" because the "extra" cash flow is unable to be spent for general use. I think this is a great way to get the funding for additional programs that are LONG overdue and I for one do support the license plate idea and hope it relieves a ton of pressure from the budget woes to get a grip on the poor output that is happening at the GL level.

    Side Note: I am not sure if the GL had to put money up since it was done by legislation in lieu of the method as you described. Again I wish some education on this was given out by GL.
     
  4. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I also believe that is correct, that the plates were done by legislation instead of a request by an organization for custom plates.

    As for the funding problem, is it by our law or law of the land that money can not be transferred from our charity fund to our general fund?
     
  5. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    According to the GLoT Treasurer, the GL put up $8000. It was also done by the request of our GL.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Well that pretty much clears it up Bro. Beathard. I had not heard so I too was curious. I had been under the impression by some that apparently did not fully understand that since legislation was involved it did not remove the $8000 requirement. I do think they will get it back and the ROI is a good one. Thanks for the clarification so we can help educate some that have been mis-informed like myself.

    @Dave - Yes it is legislated in the GL Law that it must be used for charitable purposes. Also there are additional locations on the requirements such as the GL proceedings when the land was sold and the meetings of the Home and School Board etc.
     
  7. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I was at the Giddings Lodge meeting when Archie stood up and asked the lodge to buy the first 1900 of the so he could get the money back. 8)
     
  8. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

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  9. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    That's explains how some of the funds are going back to GL, since the legislation had it going to the State General Fund. Thanks for clearing that up Bro. Beathard! I also agree with Owls that GL will get the ROI and this will make for a good income stream for GL.

    As for the sale of the land and other money tied up in the charity fund, if it's mandidated in GL Law and not the law of the land, then all it would take would be a Resolution at GL to temporarily suspend that Article for the purpose of doing a one time transfer of X amount to the GL General Fund for something like the building renovations, technology updates, or what have you. I could see a one time transfer of money for a major upgrades project. I would totally be against the continued dipping into the charity fund. But the majors upgrades would benefit the GL in becoming a better host venue to bring in revenue to move the building closer to being able to self-sustain itself.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Law of the land. According to the Attorney General of Texas, since everything to do with the former Home & School was charitable, the proceeds from the sale of the land, the royalties, and all other monies received in connection therewith can only be used for charitable purposes. We could take him to court, but we'd most likely lose.
     
  11. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    If that is the case, then I agree we would most likely lose if we tried to take that to court. Of course I wonder what the legality of a group of brothers forming some type of Historic Building Foundation for the purposes of non-profit activities of restoring, repairing, and/or improving Masonic Buildings. I wonder if that would be considered a qualifying charitable organization that GL would be able to donate to from our charity fund.
     
  12. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Very creative thinking.
     
  13. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Thank you.
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    If said buildings were either on the National Register or designated as historic by the Texas Historical Commission, then what you suggest might be possible. You might ask your county attorney to seek a ruling from the AG on it.
     
  15. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    There is some sort of marker in front of the GL building, although I don't know if it is in fact an historical marker or not. I'll have to stop by and check it out on my walk today. I always thought a building or site had to be 100 years old to get a marker. I do know the old Masonnic Temple Building a block over from GL is close to 100 years old. Of course it is just barely used these days by Commandary and the building is in a fairly bad state of repair. It's a cool old building and has a huge lodge room up on the third floor as well as a few of the old "bell and whistles" found in lodge buildings, since it was built for the exact purpose of being a lodge building.
     

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