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Old 05-25-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,428 posts, read 6,525,693 times
Reputation: 1721

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Church Tax Exemptions: Why Taxation of Religion Matters

ARE TAX "BENEFITS" FOR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS CONSTITUTIONALLY DEPENDENT ON BENEFITS FOR SECULAR ENTITIES? (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/lwsch/journals/bclawr/42_4/03_FMS.htm - broken link)

Federal Laws and Statutes : Religious Liberty Archive : Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, Colorado Springs, CO

OK wait. Before someone knee-caps me for brining the subject up. Let me just try to make one rule to this tread (not like I can enforce it.).
I want you to look at this tread from a business/economic perspective.
Please make you arguments from that perspective instead of an automatic emotional response. Thanks

OK. So America (at least I believe) is in dire straits economically. And though I have seen some very good ideas on this forum on how to possibly solve our current crisis. Our government (both dems and Repubs) lack the economic vision to actually solve the problems our country faces. Right now we are trying to spend our way out by adding to our deficits and national debt. Now that all well and good. And perhaps the government plan may work in the long term. But eventually the bills will come due on our debt and we will have to start paying if off.
Of course we also have the problems of paying for Medicare/Medicaid, social security,a longterm "war" on terror (not just Iraq and Afghanistan but fighting a world wide movement against western ideas.), etc., etc.

Which leads me to believe that our government because of there lack of economic vision is going to end up taxing it's U.S. citizens to the hilt. Basically everyone from the Rich to the poor are going to feel this pain. Nobody in my mind is going to escape..............?????????? Except for religious institutions.

Now I understand that religion is very important to the is country. And it cannot be understated that the charity of these institution help vast amount of people/communities that are economically undeserved. However. As it stands today America's economic position is dire (again in my view). And I think we can pretty much bet on our government taxing all of us pretty heavily in the near future. So if we are going to be taxed anyway. Why not at this point change the tax code and start collecting taxes on ALL religious intuitions? In essence everybody pitches in as a country and helps with our coming tax burden.

So guys. What do you think? Yea or nay on taxing religious institutions?

Oh yeah. Full disclosure. I'm a agnostic/transhuminist. So religion is not something sacred to me. Which may somehow be deemed as a bias point of view on this subject.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:46 PM
 
3,459 posts, read 5,810,805 times
Reputation: 6677
There's several different ways to look at the issue:

Dropping the tithe loophole
Getting rid of the tax exemption for tithes would help out a lot on the federal level. Considering that tithing is considered an essential element in many religions, we shouldn't need to subsidize that belief.

Property tax
Churches, hospitals, colleges, and other non-profit corporations have a tendency to use their excess funds to keep growing bigger and bigger instead of using those funds to help the community, and giving them a free ride on property taxes only encourages them to keep doing so.

If a church can afford marble floors and mahogany trim, they're in a better position to pay taxes than their neighbors who struggle to afford laminate flooring and MDF trim.

Taxing church investment income
I don't have a lot of thoughts on this one, other than the ability to help steer their investments into public projects by giving them a tax break for buying certain bonds.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 26,807,558 times
Reputation: 5040
Separation of church and state should not be ignored. How about instead of looking for more tax revenue we cut expenses. Churchgoers have already paid taxes on their money, why tax them again?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:16 PM
 
14,247 posts, read 17,968,759 times
Reputation: 13807
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Separation of church and state should not be ignored. How about instead of looking for more tax revenue we cut expenses. Churchgoers have already paid taxes on their money, why tax them again?
That argument can work all the way across the spectrum. We all pay taxes on our money so why should we be taxed again when we use our cell phones, go to the movies, buy a pair of jeans, go out for a meal, etc. etc.?

I think you will need to find a better argument to defend religious exemption from taxes.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 26,807,558 times
Reputation: 5040
Every new law or policy change is another step to the decline of the USA. My biggest arguement is that all changes made in the last few decades have been for the worse. I think that most taxes are unnecessary and unconstitutional. Also it would be all but impossible to determine the income of churches as their members could donate in ways not able to be traced.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:56 PM
 
3,459 posts, read 5,810,805 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Separation of church and state should not be ignored. How about instead of looking for more tax revenue we cut expenses. Churchgoers have already paid taxes on their money, why tax them again?
Churchgoers' tithes aren't taxed as long as they itemize the deduction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Every new law or policy change is another step to the decline of the USA. My biggest arguement is that all changes made in the last few decades have been for the worse. I think that most taxes are unnecessary and unconstitutional. Also it would be all but impossible to determine the income of churches as their members could donate in ways not able to be traced.
A church cheating on it's taxes.

Yeah, I can see that happening.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Rockland County New York
2,984 posts, read 5,868,288 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by baystater View Post
Church Tax Exemptions: Why Taxation of Religion Matters

ARE TAX "BENEFITS" FOR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS CONSTITUTIONALLY DEPENDENT ON BENEFITS FOR SECULAR ENTITIES? (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/lwsch/journals/bclawr/42_4/03_FMS.htm - broken link)

Federal Laws and Statutes : Religious Liberty Archive : Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, Colorado Springs, CO

OK wait. Before someone knee-caps me for brining the subject up. Let me just try to make one rule to this tread (not like I can enforce it.).
I want you to look at this tread from a business/economic perspective.
Please make you arguments from that perspective instead of an automatic emotional response. Thanks

OK. So America (at least I believe) is in dire straits economically. And though I have seen some very good ideas on this forum on how to possibly solve our current crisis. Our government (both dems and Repubs) lack the economic vision to actually solve the problems our country faces. Right now we are trying to spend our way out by adding to our deficits and national debt. Now that all well and good. And perhaps the government plan may work in the long term. But eventually the bills will come due on our debt and we will have to start paying if off.
Of course we also have the problems of paying for Medicare/Medicaid, social security,a longterm "war" on terror (not just Iraq and Afghanistan but fighting a world wide movement against western ideas.), etc., etc.

Which leads me to believe that our government because of there lack of economic vision is going to end up taxing it's U.S. citizens to the hilt. Basically everyone from the Rich to the poor are going to feel this pain. Nobody in my mind is going to escape..............?????????? Except for religious institutions.

Now I understand that religion is very important to the is country. And it cannot be understated that the charity of these institution help vast amount of people/communities that are economically undeserved. However. As it stands today America's economic position is dire (again in my view). And I think we can pretty much bet on our government taxing all of us pretty heavily in the near future. So if we are going to be taxed anyway. Why not at this point change the tax code and start collecting taxes on ALL religious intuitions? In essence everybody pitches in as a country and helps with our coming tax burden.

So guys. What do you think? Yea or nay on taxing religious institutions?

Oh yeah. Full disclosure. I'm a agnostic/transhuminist. So religion is not something sacred to me. Which may somehow be deemed as a bias point of view on this subject.
I would hold off taxing God. He is after all the owner of all our real estate. Can you imagine what kind of eviction he could hand us?
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:32 PM
 
14,247 posts, read 17,968,759 times
Reputation: 13807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stac2007 View Post
I would hold off taxing Godh .. b ut after all the owner of all our real estate. Can you imagine what kind of eviction he could hand us?
Ah .. but you are not taxing God. You are taxing humans who are getting tax breaks in His name.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Rockland County New York
2,984 posts, read 5,868,288 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Ah .. but you are not taxing God. You are taxing humans who are getting tax breaks in His name.
No but the government would be using God houses of worship to conduct business. Didn't Jesus whip and remove the merchants and prostitutes who were doing business in the temple?
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:38 AM
 
48,502 posts, read 97,069,428 times
Reputation: 18310
Personally'I thni it would be much easier ad a wisher business decision therefore to tax all organizations and foundations other than religion because of the separation clause including politcal oragniaztions.All gains of income could be taxed icluding those such as food banks and welfare etc that a individual got.
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