View Poll Results: Tax the Churches?

Voters
45. You may not vote on this poll
  • Tax all religious institutions the same rate as other businesses.

    22 48.89%
  • Tax all "terrorist" religious institutions (such as Westboro Baptist Church)

    2 4.44%
  • Tax all megachurches but let small churches (less than 150 members) remain tax-free.

    10 22.22%
  • Leave the tax-free charter as-is.

    11 24.44%
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Thread: Tax the Church?

  1. #1
    Butterfly Mage

    Default Tax the Church?

    It seems to me that there is an overlooked solution to the budget deficit problem in the United States. Thanks to the miracle of the 501c tax-exempt charter, "Big Bible" has continues to operate completely tax-free. It doesn't pay property taxes. It doesn't pay income taxes. It doesn't pay sales taxes.

    Now, for the non-religious in this country, the share of the tax burden not paid by churches is essentially transferred to the tax-paying individual. Personally, I don't think that's fair. I think churches should pay taxes just like any other business. But I'm open to hearing your thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2

    Default

    Well some are using this as a loop hole. If a church is open and a positive to the community, then no. But, We need to have a better crack down on cheating taxes. We do have churches that are just businesses, that are benefiting individuals and not the community.
    For the most part I have to agree with you.
    Last edited by PaperBoy; 25-Jul-2010 at 18:57.

  3. #3

    Default

    I say don't give them tax exemptions. However, churches should be allowed to register as non-profits, with all the tax exemptions and responsibilities that comes with it.

  4. #4

    Default

    The power to tax is the power to control. In the United States, the wall of separation works both ways. No taxation of religious organizations.

  5. #5

    Default

    In my opinion, the only thing I can agree towards taxing churches is the megachurches. Small churches that clearly do positive for the community can continue to remain tax-free. However megachurches just feel like big business and are clearly cheating the system in my opinion.

  6. #6
    DominatingMommy

    Default

    I can't believe there is a religious discussion that I am actually going to agree with. For those that don't know, I am a church secretary. My church actually does pay taxes. We do this because of the passage...something about render unto Caesar, that which is his.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by sparkmaster View Post
    The power to tax is the power to control. In the United States, the wall of separation works both ways. No taxation of religious organizations.
    The government already wields that power in deciding what is a legitimate religious organization. Scientology took some time to achieve their religious tax-exempt status (not long enough for me personally but that's beside the point). It seems like the best way to get the government out of religion would be to remove the necessity for it to judge what is a religion and what isn't. Make it all the same with the rules for non-profit organizations. I'm sure there are probably some complexities to this I haven't considered but I think the general principle of removing government from deciding a religion's worth appeals to me.

  8. #8

    Default

    Tax them half of normal rates. It would help while still giving them a 'break' at the same time.

    But of course, the money gained will no doubt be blown on stupid shit as is the usual practice..

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    The government already wields that power in deciding what is a legitimate religious organization. Scientology took some time to achieve their religious tax-exempt status (not long enough for me personally but that's beside the point). It seems like the best way to get the government out of religion would be to remove the necessity for it to judge what is a religion and what isn't. Make it all the same with the rules for non-profit organizations. I'm sure there are probably some complexities to this I haven't considered but I think the general principle of removing government from deciding a religion's worth appeals to me.
    I would agree with your idea, but in execution I wonder if we wouldn't have dozens of organizations claiming to be religious organization to take advantage of tax free status. If we were make tax exemption a de facto right of a religious organization, I think the only viable way to prevent the growth of pseudo-religious organizations would be to have a fairly narrow definition of what a religious organization is, administratively.

  10. #10

    Default

    No, absolutely not, do not tax them. And this is being said by someone who is non-religious. We need to reduce the size of government and the associated costs; not find more ways to "feed the beast". And I'm someone who detests organized religion, I still say that they are non profit and should not be taxed. They do however generally provide value to the community from homeless and emergency situation shelters, AA meeting places and other type things. It's better for taxpayers for tax exempt churches to provide these services at no direct cost to tax payers than to add another inefficient, bloated, probably lazy unionized government employed agency to do it. Just saying.

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