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Should churches remain tax exempt?
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

qwueri wrote:



I think you'd also have to start differentiating income for NPOs as well. Targeting churches only just comes across as a cheap secular swipe and wouldn't fly in public opinion outside the internet.


I'd have to agree to this opinion. But then again why would any of the economic powerhouses even need to get this petty with their taxation laws, Plenty of countries in the past and the current times get by just fine without this excessive breaking of their own charter of rights or constitutions.

Does anyone really seriously thinking taxing religious organisations and non-profit groups is really the solution to anyone's economic woes? More money is never the solution, bleeding cash has never fixed anything in the long term.
qwueri 
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

salamisama wrote:

This ^^^

Of course they should pay taxes, also. What about "tiding" within churches? (Which is funny, because within their own book, there is NOTHING about tiding being a thing mentioned.) If people are enforced to donate some of their money, they should certainly pay taxes.


Try looking up "tithing" next time.

https://www.gotquestions.org/tithing-Christian.html


Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

qwueri wrote:


salamisama wrote:

This ^^^

Of course they should pay taxes, also. What about "tithing" within churches? (Which is funny, because within their own book, there is NOTHING about tiding being a thing mentioned.) If people are enforced to donate some of their money, they should certainly pay taxes.


Try looking up "tithing" next time.

https://www.gotquestions.org/tithing-Christian.html


Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).


Pardon the typo on "tithing" and yes, an Old Testament concept, the principles of christianity/catholicism are based on the New Testament though aren't they? That's what I meant by in 'their book'

If i'm wrong, pardon. But this is what from what I have heard and read, and as I thought when seeing this thread something that coincided with the topic was the "tithing" ideal.
qwueri 
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

salamisama wrote:

Pardon the typo on "tithing" and yes, an Old Testament concept, the principles of christianity/catholicism are based on the New Testament though aren't they? That's what I meant by in 'their book'

If i'm wrong, pardon. But this is what from what I have heard and read, and as I thought when seeing this thread something that coincided with the topic was the "tithing" ideal.


Depends on the denomination how literally they'll take the old testament.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

qwueri wrote:


salamisama wrote:

Pardon the typo on "tithing" and yes, an Old Testament concept, the principles of christianity/catholicism are based on the New Testament though aren't they? That's what I meant by in 'their book'

If i'm wrong, pardon. But this is what from what I have heard and read, and as I thought when seeing this thread something that coincided with the topic was the "tithing" ideal.


Depends on the denomination how literally they'll take the old testament.


Right, hmmm.

Well regardless, with it leading up to how literally they will take the testament makes it a bit of a feeble statement, so eh.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
Short Answer: No they should not.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

mxdan wrote:

Some estimates say taxing churches would bring in 82 billion a year. Furthermore if we did this we could make community college largly free for most citizens in the United States.

It seems the only thing holding the United States from doing this is Tradition Economics but at the end of the day that is a lot of money that the U.S. could use.

Though, I will say that the U.S. largely mishandles its taxes but that's a debate for another day.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2015/07/28/should-america-tax-churches/#3763911421ea



Source: http://www.secularhumanism.org/fi/vol_32/4/cragun_32_4.pdf

-----

Counter Argument:

The counter argument mainly stems around the fact that churches are able to do things they otherwise wouldn't if we didn't tax them; Food closets, and missionary work come to mind.


1. Government can’t pick some churches to tax & regulate but not others.

Oliver focused on churches that preach the “Prosperity Gospel” and do so in a public way. His audience (myself included) laughed as he ridiculed some prominent TV preachers. Making pronouncements, giving blessings, and issuing calls for faithful giving is, well, something found in nearly every house of worship in America. Government can’t pick and choose which ones are silly and which ones are legitimate. It must practice “benevolent neutrality.” If you tax the TV evangelist you don’t like, then you also must tax the Unitarian/Universalist congregation, the synagogue, the Catholic parish, the Amish house church, and every other religious community.

READ Five things I teach foreign students about American religion & politics

2. If we tax churches, then we will need to tax all not-for-profit organizations.

Government may exempt churches from property taxes and other taxes so long as they do so for other charities. There are some who argue that, as in the case of religious groups on public campuses (Rosenberger v UVA), government can’t select just religious groups to tax while leaving all other organizations like schools, women shelters, soup kitchens, and fraternal organizations tax-exempt.

3. To tax churches, government would need to have the (currently unconstitutional) authority to audit and regulate churches.

Income is revenue minus expenses. So, to tax revenue, the government has rules about what counts as legitimate business expenses and regulations on how businesses perform their accounting. The government may also audit organizations. To do this for churches means that the government would define what is and is not legitimate and then act to ensure compliance. This raises a constitutional issue as Congress cannot make laws that affect the free exercise of religion.

4. Taxation would benefit large churches and ministries and harm smaller ones.

As with any organization, larger is better. Big churches would have the resources to hire lawyers and accountants that would minimize their tax burden. Smaller churches that currently operate on shoestring budgets would face a relatively greater cost in order to comply with new regulations.

5. It wouldn’t solve the problem.

Most of the discussion of taxing churches offers so-called megachurches or television-based ministries as examples of abuse. But if we tax churches, then churches will do what other businesses do—they’ll increase expenditures in order to reduce taxable income. Again: income is revenue minus expenditures. The TV preacher’s million dollar income? That’s an expense. His clothes for his show? An expense. His jet to travel for business? Another expense. The cost of all those fundraising mailings? More expenses. By the end, there won’t be any income to tax.


http://religionnews.com/2015/08/26/5-reasons-we-should-never-tax-churches-even-if-john-oliver-is-right-commentary/

----


So what do you guys think?

Personally I think we should differentiate between churches and non-profit organizations. Mainly because good NPO's are held to some sort of standard if they are to receive funding were as Churches become more ambiguous when it comes to their reasoning. NPO's usually have a direct goal in mind. For instance helping people with depression or trying to cure cancer. Can we say the same for churches? The directive seems to be one of many things but ultimately it is hard understand just what that is exactly. Especially when the people in charge of many congregations are living so lavishly.

Also it sort of goes into the Meta Ethical conversation about what churches actually do beyond that of a subjective opinion.


Interesting, but bad.


Every pastor, rabi and alim I know don't make crap. They work in the worst parts of town with the poorest people. You must be talking about rich white neighborhoods. When you tax churches, temples and mosques, you will tear into the poorest population areas. Yeah who cares, you don't have to live here. The Deacon doesn't make shit, and he's still doing his thing because he loves the neighborhood, damn rich white kids, you get everything, and now you want to tax where folks go to get aid and relief during bad times when the government doesn't do shit? Damn....take from the poor and give to the rich, typical. Yep pay those rich doctors and scientists, because they need the money so much more than those who are lined up at the mission for food and shelter.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
Yes, but up to a point. On one hand tax exempt status helps smaller churches stay afloat on another hand mega churches with pastors making millions of dollars are more of a business (making lots of $). Maybe a tax credit/tax free allowance for a decent amount of money to keep those churches that more or less break even stay open, while getting some revenue from the small minority that are making millions of dollars would be a reasonable compromise.
Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
I would have been against this years ago when churches did lots of charity work, but now that the globalists have placed the real pope under house arrest, and substituted the jackass pope we have now, who loves to play politics, I say tax the shit out of them, all of them, especially Mosques so none of that money makes it into the hands of Islamic Terrorists. Let them pay corporate tax rates.
relt95 
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
I'm pretty sure churches are exempt from taxes because they are non-profits.

It doesn't make sense to tax an organization that doesn't earn money (maybe its employees, but not the organization itself).
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
Their employees are taxed at normal income tax rates.

Since they don't make a profit - the only added tax which would happen if they were taxed is property taxes.
mxdan 
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17


This comes up in my subsiquent posts. Would you be opposed to a tax based on a percent income? Ie, you pay relative to what you pull in or better yet a flat tax after a certain percentage income bracket?
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17

mxdan This comes up in my subsiquent posts. Would you be opposed to a tax based on a percent income? Ie, you pay relative to what you pull in or better yet a flat tax after a certain percentage income bracket?

Your latter suggestion seems like a good idea.

Then again, if it's the mega churches the tax would be targeting, maybe the tax only ought to apply to churches that pull in more then a set amount per year.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
So I in general am opposed to taxes, so if you ask do I oppose taxing churches, yes I do.

Having said that, I do want to mention that churches tend actually to be apolitical organizations(and if they aren't they should legally lose their taxfree status). By that I don't mean they can't make their will known on specific issues, but they should never officially endorse a candidate or party or how to vote. They should be able to let you know if a certain proposal is something that aligns with their values or not.

but back to the issue of taxation, If you did tax churches the money they get that tax from would almost exclusively come from money they would invest in humanitarian efforts because as everyone pretty much agrees you have a spectrum of churches that range from doing everything humanly possible to reach out, to churches that are really a for profit business in disguise that any giving to charity part of their cover to be a church and not a business. With one any "extra" funds they have are going to have to come out of their humanitarian efforts because they would rather do less today and keep their doors open to help more people tomorrow, and the other well those funds were only a cover to keep them from having to pay taxes anyway.

And my final point is that IF a private(church or private NPO) organization is performing charity they have almost always had a lower operating cost relative to their scope than government charities(which means more money going to where it should), not to mention that people receiving government assistance tend to struggle to get off of it as opposed to private charities.
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Posted 1/25/17 , edited 1/26/17
If they donate a single cent to a political movement, body, or person, then fuck yes.
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