Should churches be taxed?
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24-11-2013, 08:05 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(24-11-2013 07:42 AM)Likos02 Wrote:  But Chas, if they tax all religious entities regardless of faith in the same way, then it wouldn't violate the establishment clause.

Also, wisconsin just declared Religious tax exemption on allowances unconstitutional...thats one state down folks, (and it's a red state at that).

The point is that they might not.

Valuation of property is open to abuse.

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24-11-2013, 08:10 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(24-11-2013 01:35 AM)Cephalotus Wrote:  Exactly what the title says. Should churches be taxed?

I can only speak from experience in the United States, as I'm uncertain how this works in other countries. Here it's a hot issue every few years then it gets completely forgotten about. It's been a while since the concept got any press whatsoever, and this made me realize I've never really talked this out with an intelligent audience.

I know what a lot of you were thinking when you read the title. It was along the lines of "Hell no, because then churches would be allowed to advocate specific political candidates." For a while I felt the same way myself. Then I remembered that around election days, the local pastor would usually have a sermon prepared that focused on abortion or some other decidedly political issue. They don't have to explicitly state something to imply that God wants them to vote a certain way. They've been sneaking politics in all along.

Thoughts?


Yes - churches should be taxed.

Exempting the church from taxation only leads to the fuel they are are somewhat Godly and whatnot........... when plenty's been provided as to the church's corruption, etc. The *church* per-say is a business.......and therefore should be taxed like any other businesses. They could catch a break on their charity work if taxed. But on charity works only.


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24-11-2013, 08:25 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(24-11-2013 05:53 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 05:44 AM)Philo Wrote:  I think my view would be "it depends." On what? On the specific activities that church or religious organization engages in. Basically, I don't think religious organizations should be granted one status or another simply in virtue of the fact that they're religious. So if the organization's activities would disqualify it from tax-exempt status if it were a "secular" organization, the same should go for a nominally "religious" organization. And, vice-versa, tax-exempt status should be granted to religious organizations whose activities are akin to other, say, 501©3 organizations.

So essentially, yes, they should be taxed. I like the pedantic types though Thumbsup.

I'm a philosopher, pedantic is what I'm trained to be. Tongue

I just wanted to head off the objection (which we'd both agree is silly but people still make it) that saying "tax churches" means there are no legitimate times when a church/religious organization could be tax-exempt. I prefer to just preempt that nonsense, so I say "treat religion the same as anything else for the purpose of taxation."
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24-11-2013, 10:03 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
I think the tax exemption is most fair when applied to organizations that are performing work for the public good / cahrity. I think a simple 2 prong test would be a fair basis for eligibility for tax exemption: 90% of income spent on public good projects (10% overhead max) and 75% pf assets must be placed into use for the public good.

In thinking this through, it might be problematic for educational institutions unless you are able to demonstrate that the endowment is used for tuition reduction adn facilities are predominantly for educational endeavors.

Organizations such as American Cancer Society / Red Cross should have no problem other than the overhead % but I'm sure they could adapt and/or the % could be tweaked a bit.

Soup kitchens/shelters no problem.

Churches/religious institutions also should have no problem unless they are greedy and can prove that they are using their assets for public good.
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24-11-2013, 10:09 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(24-11-2013 10:03 AM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  I think the tax exemption is most fair when applied to organizations that are performing work for the public good / cahrity. I think a simple 2 prong test would be a fair basis for eligibility for tax exemption: 90% of income spent on public good projects (10% overhead max) and 75% pf assets must be placed into use for the public good.

In thinking this through, it might be problematic for educational institutions unless you are able to demonstrate that the endowment is used for tuition reduction adn facilities are predominantly for educational endeavors.

Organizations such as American Cancer Society / Red Cross should have no problem other than the overhead % but I'm sure they could adapt and/or the % could be tweaked a bit.

Soup kitchens/shelters no problem.

Churches/religious institutions also should have no problem unless they are greedy and can prove that they are using their assets for public good.

I'm pretty sure every megachurch would fail that test. Consider


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24-11-2013, 12:30 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
IMO, it's absurd that a science fiction writer, L Ron Hubbard, created some cult to peddle his books and get fools to part from their money, and then rebranded this Scientology racket as a "Church" to become a billionaire and not have to pay any taxes.

I agree that tax-exempt status should be based on the charitable nature of the enterprise and if it serves the public good, not whether it peddles non-nonsensical fairy tails about talking snakes or thetans clinging to bodies.
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24-11-2013, 02:52 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Ok, so I guess we're continuing this thread. Cool.

I very sincerely doubt any church in America could prove they are using their assets for public good. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters use their assets for public good. Churches don't have to pay taxes on their land, the building or the drapes where the parishioners worship and teach their children to hate women, gays and science. A church skipping out on taxes for bake sales and new pews doesn't have anything to do with the public services they provide in other buildings and whatnot.

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24-11-2013, 04:05 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Quote:A government that wanted to favor one church could impose inequitable taxes on the others to the advantage of the favored church, thus violating the spirit of the law.

Tax the shit out of all of them!

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24-11-2013, 04:13 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
no, but they should actually make donations and help folks in actual need(without proselytizing) instead of buying expensive suits and shoes. Looking at you Joel Olsteen! http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest...net-worth/
FUCKING BITCH!

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24-11-2013, 04:28 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
If they had to pay taxes on everything normal institutions have to pay taxes on, there would be less money that made it to the people at the top. I agree with you, they *should* be smarter with their money, but I don't think there is any incentive for them to do so other than pr. Charitable institutions accept donations, they don't dish them out.


(Again, this is just how it works in the States. Not certain about other countries.)

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