Should churches be taxed?
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25-11-2013, 11:59 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Being a catholic, I don't' think anyone will be surprised at my position. In general I am against the taxation of churches. However, I have only ever really experienced Catholic Churches. My experience with mega churches is fairly limited so I may support some limitations on the tax exempt. Of course then the question becomes where does one draw the line.

Just in defense of the tax exemption status of the catholic churches I would like to add the following.
1. The majority of money that comes into the church via collections seems to go to charity. In Toronto the charitable branch is Share life which has a very low overhead. Even building fund collections tend to be saved for the second (and much smaller) collection.

2. The faculty costs are very low since priests are rarely paid that well. (Pay can vary dramatically from a few hundred a month to a thousand a month depending on what the diocese pays for). Which when you consider that every priest has a masters degree is a good deal.

3. Priests also serve a very important community role. They give a 20 minute lesson on the bible everyday. Plus they also do spiritual direction. Which is essentially free life counseling. And there is also the marriage prep and the performance of marriages and funerals which are all technically free.

4. A significant amount of money is in fact directed towards the churches building and maintenance. However, I think this is mostly good since charitable money can be spent in many places including, I think, the arts. The Catholic Church has been a patron of the arts for a long time. Churches are able to support local artists and have their works displayed for free. Also church halls are often used for community events.

That's just my opinion, but there you go.

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26-11-2013, 12:26 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(25-11-2013 11:59 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  In general I am against the taxation of churches.

If what you say is true, then your church doesn't need tax exempt status anyway. Even a regular for-profit corporation gets to deduct the money it spends on overhead and anything given to charity.

I imagine removing the tax exempt status would only affect churches that turn a major profit, do not spend it on charity, but instead lavish it on extravagance.

However, you're not being honest about the Catholic church imo. Hang out the Vatican and look at the incredible wealth. The didn't get that way by spending their money feeding the poor. Most of that wealth historically came from exploiting poor people. On the other hand, I do like your new pope. He seems like-able and down to earth with a genuine kindness. Couldn't stand Benedict, though. And I still suspect he stepped down only because he was somehow involved in a scandal and he had to distance himself.
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26-11-2013, 12:33 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Quote:there would be less money that made it to the people at the top.

Really? I suspect there would be less money making it to the people at the bottom.

But then...I'm a hopeless cynic especially where sanctimonious shits are concerned. They always seem to fill their pockets.

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26-11-2013, 12:48 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Not for profits can spend there money on anything and everything counts.

I was involved with a homebrew club in California and we had not-for-profit status.

We could technically accept a car and use it for homebrew related things or auction it off as a fund raiser.


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26-11-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(25-11-2013 11:59 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Being a catholic, I don't' think anyone will be surprised at my position. In general I am against the taxation of churches. However, I have only ever really experienced Catholic Churches. My experience with mega churches is fairly limited so I may support some limitations on the tax exempt. Of course then the question becomes where does one draw the line.

Just in defense of the tax exemption status of the catholic churches I would like to add the following.
1. The majority of money that comes into the church via collections seems to go to charity. In Toronto the charitable branch is Share life which has a very low overhead. Even building fund collections tend to be saved for the second (and much smaller) collection.

2. The faculty costs are very low since priests are rarely paid that well. (Pay can vary dramatically from a few hundred a month to a thousand a month depending on what the diocese pays for). Which when you consider that every priest has a masters degree is a good deal.

3. Priests also serve a very important community role. They give a 20 minute lesson on the bible everyday. Plus they also do spiritual direction. Which is essentially free life counseling. And there is also the marriage prep and the performance of marriages and funerals which are all technically free.

4. A significant amount of money is in fact directed towards the churches building and maintenance. However, I think this is mostly good since charitable money can be spent in many places including, I think, the arts. The Catholic Church has been a patron of the arts for a long time. Churches are able to support local artists and have their works displayed for free. Also church halls are often used for community events.

That's just my opinion, but there you go.

Please, consider my rebuttal.

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26-11-2013, 11:58 AM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
If money is collected from them as taxes, they can then get on the "gravy train" and demand funds from taxes.

I'm sick and tired of paying for items the federal govt. uses my tax money for.....I don't need religious institutions added to that infamous list.

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26-11-2013, 12:12 PM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2013 12:24 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Should churches be taxed?
Yes. I don't know all the taxing rules, nor do I know how "non profits" get taxed (nor do I know if a church can call itself a non profit). But fact is, the church is running like a business. It is taking money from clients/patrons as employee income and business revenue. It should be treated like exactly what it is, a business.

Religious organizations (churches, mosques, temples, etc) should be taxed the same as any privately owned secular community organization would be taxed (I believe charity is deductable, so how does that factor into an argument?).
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26-11-2013, 12:13 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
(26-11-2013 11:58 AM)RaisdCath Wrote:  If money is collected from them as taxes, they can then get on the "gravy train" and demand funds from taxes.

I'm sick and tired of paying for items the federal govt. uses my tax money for.....I don't need religious institutions added to that infamous list.
How can a private business demand money from taxes?
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26-11-2013, 12:39 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
No churches should not be taxed. They already try to play pulpit politics, their tax exemption allows IRS to bust them for mixing politics and religion. Take that away and collectively they can act like the Koch brothers and pump politics with money.

I'd worry more long term if they were taxed the monopoly they could create. Iran and Saudi Arabia use public taxes to build there holy places.

It isn't a perfect system by any stretch, but like I said, if you tax them, they get to play politics. I want religion out of politics.

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26-11-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: Should churches be taxed?
No churches should not be taxed. They already try to play pulpit politics, their tax exemption allows IRS to bust them for mixing politics and religion. Take that away and collectively they can act like the Koch brothers and pump politics with money.

I'd worry more long term if they were taxed the monopoly they could create. Iran and Saudi Arabia use public taxes to build there holy places.

It isn't a perfect system by any stretch, but like I said, if you tax them, they get to play politics. I want religion out of politics.

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