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News & Politics News & Politics

Should Churches be tax exempt?

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Should Churches Get Tax Breaks?

INTRODUCTION

Trinity Broadcasting Network's Holy Land ExperienceBrian Blanco for The New York TimesDoes the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Holy Land Experience, a theme park in Orlando, really deserve a tax break?

The Trinity Broadcasting Network has always been proud of its extravagant profits, but rarely mentions the extravagant tax breaks that fueled them. According to a recent lawsuit, the company provides mansions for executives and calls them “parsonages” to avoid property taxes, and it ordains TBN chauffeurs and sound engineers and performers at the Holy Land Experience theme park, meaning their pay is tax-free.

Religious exemptions from taxes and regulations are often thought of as separating church and state, but are they having the opposite effect — serving as a state subsidy for religious organizations? Should religious entities be subject to taxes and rules like labor and civil rights laws?


Read the debates here and what is your opinion?

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/05/09/should-churches-get-tax-breaks/tax-breaks-good-for-religion-good-for-america

by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Replies (41-50):
Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 5:56 AM

 

Quoting Red_Mama0723:

The church, unfortunately is a very powerful entity in our government. They have influenced many elections to suit their needs. If you think that isn't true, then you have not been paying attention over the years. How did under god get put in to our pledge in the 1950's or 60's? I'll tell you how, the church had a say in our government. They need to pay taxes if they want to keep their BS up.

 It is morally wrong to say that every person who "plays" politics has to pay taxes.  Look at churches: they interact with people, commonly on an often individual basis to fill many different functions.  In other words, they already contribute to society.  Churches already have an instrinsic right to voice concerns over societal issues.  It would be extremely follish to ignore the voices of institutions who are often closer to the people and to peoples' situations and concerns than the government.

DieselsMom
by Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:00 AM

I believe they should be allowed a certain reasonable amount of income NOT taxed, say, 1,000 per person who attends, but aside from that, I do think that they should be taxed....I only feel this way because small churches rely on those tax breaks to do outreach programs, etc!!

bekalynne440
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:09 AM
True churches (not theme parks) should be tax exempt. You can't say churches should stay out of the government but they must fund the government. Many of those tax exempt churches are 50 people and under congregations in very small towns who barely have enough to keep the lights on and somewhat support the pastor. They have a right to have regular spiritual guidance and continued community without also funding the government.
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sarebear31976
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 7:26 AM


Quoting DieselsMom:

I believe they should be allowed a certain reasonable amount of income NOT taxed, say, 1,000 per person who attends, but aside from that, I do think that they should be taxed....I only feel this way because small churches rely on those tax breaks to do outreach programs, etc!!

In a large church systems, like say the Catholic church, how could you prove how many people attend?  And would that lead to churches with less honest clergy claiming higher attendance to reduce their taxes?  


Sarah




We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. ~William Ewart Gladstone

sarebear31976
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 7:31 AM

I think churches should be tax exempt.  This is not a church.  It is a theme park being run by a church.  They charge $40 a ticket for adults.  

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 30, 2012 at 7:33 AM
Agreed.

Quoting Red_Mama0723:

if they want to have an opinion/influence in politics then they need to be taxed

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TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 30, 2012 at 7:34 AM
Also agree.

Quoting 29again:

I have no problem with an actual church being tax-exempt.  However, the facility described above is not a church, imo, it is a business plain and simple, and should be paying taxes, and following all applicable laws.  A "church" that would take such advantage of its tax-exempt status is corrupt.

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emeraldangel2.0
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 7:57 AM

churches like the ones above and westboro should not be tax exempt

colins_mom
by Member on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:29 AM
I agree.

I feel all religions that are recignized should be able to apply to be tax free for their churches. If an athiesit wants to build a meeting hall to meet with people to discuss whatever (hiw the lions will never go to the superbowl perhaps) and they want to apply for it sure go for it, it is a meeting place for like minded people to get together and discuss their beliefs. But I think that these places of worship (or lack of) should also be up for inspection when its applied for, proove you are infact a church. No more basement preachers getting ordaned online preaching to their ,at and nit paying taxes


Quoting 29again:

I have no problem with an actual church being tax-exempt.  However, the facility described above is not a church, imo, it is a business plain and simple, and should be paying taxes, and following all applicable laws.  A "church" that would take such advantage of its tax-exempt status is corrupt.

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Simmeringhearts
by on Dec. 30, 2012 at 8:29 AM

If you feel that the churches should be taxes, work to get the laws changed. Because it would be very wise to give the government more money to waste.

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