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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:20 PM
Original message
Poll question: Should Churches Pay Taxes?
Actually this is a two fold question - Should Churches pay Taxes and Should Donations to Churchs count as Charitable Donations.

To put my cards on the table, I'm in favor of Churches not paying taxes and I'm in favor of Donations to Churches being counted as Charitable Donations. I'm not dogmatic about it, but those are my opinions.

One thing I will also point out right at the top. While ending tax-exempt status will obviously hurt such enterprises as the 700 club or hierarchical churches such as the Mormons or the Catholics, it may prove most crippling to smaller churches, I should think. Those that are having a hard time getting by.

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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nickinSTL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. my answer is...
churches should pay taxes if they are going to involve themselves in politics.

You threaten the members of your church with excommunication if they don't vote with the church's preferred positions, you pay taxes. Etc.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. Churches should pay taxes if they start preaching politics.
And I'm aiming this specifically at so-called "megachurches" that rake in more money than god on Sundays via sermons and merchandise, and pay their pastors six figure salaries (and they also probably dont pay taxes on that, either).
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waiting for hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. If the church
organization supports any political affiliation or any law/amendment proposals, then they should pay taxes....
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. It would be nice to tax commercial property
owned by the richer churches, something that includes apartments, retail buildings, office buildings, nursing homes, and for profit hospitals.

It would also be nice to tax those concert venues parading as religious organizations: the megachurches, but defining them might be problematic.

I don't think anyone wants to tax poor community churches where the minister/priest has read the book and organizes outreach programs that go beyond the church itself to aid the neighborhood. That would be horribly counterproductive. It would be counterproductive even to tax those insular churches that offer support to members in time of stress.

However, counting ALL church property tax free is idiocy. You don't realize how idiotic it is until you live in a city like Boston, where a great deal of real estate has been gobbled up by churches and their commercial enterprises.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Yep, what you said. Precisely.
There should be an offset for strictly worship venues, and for charitable acts within the community that are documented with an audit trail. But cash cows that have nothing to do with these elements should pony up like the rest of us.

If we went to the German system, where, for tax purposes, you must DECLARE your religion (or lack of same) and the government takes out the tithe and gives it directly to the church, I think we'd have a much more secular society. A lot of those righty religious types can quote the Bible, are delighted to add their fulsome noise to the debate, but their wallets are superglued shut when it comes down to the heavy giving.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Churches have proved they will not stay out of issues of state
and therefore can no longer be trusted to remain away from political issues.
It is the case where the few rotten apples have spoiled the whole basket.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. Churhes that preach politics ala Falwell & Robertson..you bet they should
Edited on Wed Jun-07-06 01:28 PM by spanone
These are tax free political proponents. Double tax them.
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. I concur with the other posts regarding church and politics.
If a church is solely a religious institution, there should be no taxes and charitable donations should be tax deductible. However, the minute they start promoting a political agenda, ask their congregation to support a particular political candidate, or anything else political, that's it. They are no longer solely a religious institution, and as such should not be entitled to tax exempt status.

The last time religion and government got together, innocent people were hung in the town square. We cannot risk taking a step backward to that inhumane time.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. No and no.
If a church wants to start a non-profit charity, it can do so like anyone else. However, the majority of money churches raise goes right back into the church, not to charities. Example: I recently attended a church for the first time in decades because my niece was getting christened. This newly-renovated building was nicer than any of its predominantly-white members' houses, I'm sure. Nicer than any place I've lived, anyway. The preacher/priest/whatever, who I already didn't like since the jist of his sermon was that we shouldn't question things because it is as God wills it, had the nerve to brag about how they were helping the victims of Katrina, not by housing them or sending food, but by sending chairs and money to their sister church to rebuild IT. Not peoples' houses, not the community, but another fucking church.

The idea that churches are inherently some kind of charity is a lie. They do not deserve tax-free status simply because they are a church. I appreciate the fact that many churches do help people and the community, but let them earn their status like the rest of us.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Legally, non-profits don't have to be charitable.
A lot of people have a misunderstanding about what it takes to have a non-profit. For example, many homeowners associations are non-profits. Why? Because the money they collect is re-invested into common property held by all of the members. Since nobody is pocketing any of the money or making any profit off the enterprise, the government doesn't tax it. Unions are also organized as nonprofits, even though they often have paid employees, because the goal of the organization is to help its members and not benefit an "owner". Churches are often seen the same way...donations to the church are made to support an organization the donors are members of. Nobody is "profitting", so nothing is taxed.

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of non-profits. Public Benefit nonprofits, which are usually charitable and support their communities, and Mutual Benefit nonprofits, which aren't charitable to the community, but which are formed to pool assets and benefit those who are members. There are legitimate purposes for both, but only the first has any kind of charitable mandate.

Remember, we don't tax income in this country, we tax PROFIT. A company can do a million in sales (income), but still only have a tiny amount left over when all the bills and payroll are paid (profit). If we taxed the income, we'd put every company in the country out of business, and every employee out of work.

Nonprofits, by definition, don't have any profit to tax. 100% of their income must be either donated (if they're Public Benefit) or invested back into the organization (if they're Mutual Benefit). Since churches are basically Mutual Benefit nonprofits, this is why you see large ornate churches being built...they HAVE to invest that money or they'll become profitable.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Then no Christian church should be a Mutual Benefit nonprofit.
How many children starve every year because they would rather build another church wing than pay taxes? Do they really think Jesus would be OK with that?
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. That's a really unfair question
How many kids die every year because I choose to file for my refund? Do you file for your refund (assuming you get on at the end of the year)?

Bryant
Check it out--> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You're not making an accurate comparison.
Christian churches claim to follow and preach Jesus's word. Jesus had strong feelings about putting monetary concerns above humanity. In that context, what I said was very fair. Your comparison doesn't apply because you and I aren't claiming tax exemption because we follow and preach the word of Jesus.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Ah
So it's ok for me and you because we don't really claim to be against children dieing. But because Churches follow the teachings of Jesus, they are presumed to be opposed to children dieing. And since by failing to pay taxes they don't owe (under the current system) they are guilty of letting children die, and therefore of Hypocricy.

That's an interesting distinction - for the record, independent of my religious affiliation, I'm opposed to children dieing.

Bryant
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. You still don't get it, so I'll keep spelling it out.
It's really not so much of a leap in logic as you would like to think it is. Perhaps my wording could've been clearer, but then I couldn't have had someone like you nitpick it, forcing me to better explain my argument for the slow and antagonistic. I was responding directly to the post before the one you originally felt compelled to disagree with. I assumed you read it, but that's what I get for making assumptions. In that post, they said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that churches (like other nonprofits of the same legal deliniation) intentionally spend money unnecessarily on themselves in order to retain their nonprofit tax-exempt status. The point I made, which apparently most people understood or ignored, was that, as establishments claiming to represent Jesus, this practice should be wholly unacceptable. However, I presented it in the form of a question, which seems to have thrown you off. Do you get it now? I don't think I can put it any more simply without pictures.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. I'm sorry to be so slow
It must be a real trial for you.

Now that you've clarified your point - I can understand what you are getting at. But that all hinges on the original posters interpretation of what churches are doing. I'm not an expect but I would gather that churches fall under both headings (of mutual benefit and public benefit). Actually thinking about it, all charities must have some division between the two (almost all charities (or at least publically acknowledged ones) have to pay the rent or the electricity bill, and such outlays are of benefit to the people employed by the charity).

But I don't know how this explantion changes the moral question you posed initially, which seems to imply that any excess the church has should be turned over to the government, in order to prevent children from dieing. Did I misunderstand you?

I mean let aside the tax-exempt status question; assuming they were taxed on every dollar they make - and they had a bit left over and wanted to spruce up the church's bathrooms - would that be against the teachings of Christ as you understand it?

Bryant
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. You're only slow at getting to what really bothers you about my post.
And you are still misunderstanding a bit, but that is my fault. I'm not saying churches should give money to the government to prevent children from "dieing"(sic), I'm saying it's unacceptable for them to waste money better spent on those who need it in order to avoid paying taxes.

To answer your other question, I don't believe Jesus would build a single church if that money would be better spent feeding the hungry, so yes.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. I'm sorry for my misspelling
For whom is it acceptable to waste money that could be better spent feeding the hungry? I mean everytime I go to Best Buy (which is not all that often, but still), aren't I wasting money that could be better spent feeding the hungry? Speaking as a Christian, I mean.

Bryant
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. For those who do not claim to represent Jesus.
How many times do I have to say that?
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Doensn't every Christian claim to represent Jesus?
More or less?

Also don't Islam and Judaism and other religions have teachings on taking care of the poor?
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-08-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Not at all, and not relevant anyway. Most Christians don't claim...
...tax exempt status for being so. Every Christian merely believes Jesus is the son of God and died for our sins. I wasn't addressing other religions, I was addressing Christian churches.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #33
44. What about the non-taxed dollars that don't go to a kid being a bombed?
Makes the idea of bying another pew sound fairly harmless.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. That's extraneous to my argument and doesn't disprove it. - n/t
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:03 AM
Response to Reply #21
43. wow
"That's an interesting distinction - for the record, independent of my religious affiliation, I'm opposed to children dieing. "
That's a really bold stance to take! ;-)
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. The same could be said about homeowners associations.
One could make the argument that every entity should have to pay taxes, but the government has decided that only corporations that profit owners or stockholders should be taxed. This means that homeowners associations, unions, churches, and other organizations that don't technically "profit" don't pay taxes.

Churches are actually perfect examples of what Mutual Benefit corporations are meant to accomplish. Churches are usually owned to some extent by their members, and those members donate to the church to keep it operating. Since nobody really "profits" from churches, there's nothing to tax. 100% of income is spent on operating expenses (and leftover proceeds are typically donated to public benefit charities).

Personally, I've always found the argument about taxing churches to be a bit silly anyway. While the global RC Church may make a lot of money, and while a handful of fundamentalist superchurches may take in a lot of donations, the reality is that most churches exist fairly hand-to-mouth. I don't attend anymore, but I know for a fact that the total yearly donations for my old church were usually in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. Those donations barely covered the cost of the gardeners and utilities. While there are some fairly high profile exceptions, they are just that...exceptions.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Homeowners associations don't claim to represent Jesus.
Unless I read a different book than everyone else, Jesus wouldn't support building churches over helping the homeless or feeding the hungry.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. The government cannot judge the religious claims of the organization.
That would be an unconstitutional mucking of the first amendment. Also keep in mind that "churches" aren't neccesarily Christian. There's lots of mosques, synagogues, and pagan groups that claim tax free status because their donations. I don't think that any of them claim to be spreading Jesus directives to help the homeless and hungry either.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. I'm not saying the government should.
I also made it a point to address Christian churches, which you may have missed.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
42. Excellent answer
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mccoyn Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. It is impossible for churches to not affect politics.
A persons moral leadership affects their views on many political issues, which usually involve morality. Asking a church to be non-political is like asking them to not comment on morality, which is their main dig. I think for this reason, all churches should pay property tax. If you can't afford property taxes like any other business or non-profit you will have to find another place to congregate.

As long as a church operates as a non-profit I don't have much problems with the donations counting as charitable donations. The money isn't being used to line someones wallet and churches do some good stuff every now and then. I may not agree with the beliefs of the charity, but thats no reason to dictate what is charity and what isn't.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. Keep in mind people that there's a flip side to this.
While a few churches do somewhat dabble in politics in the abortion debate and euthanasia discussions, it's pretty rare for them to directly get involved in electing leaders. If you strip them of tax-exempt status, that will all change. You'll have religious leaders coming out directly endorsing candidates..."God wants all you good Baptists to vote for Jeb this November!" or "The Pope says that any Catholic voting for Hillary Clinton this November will be going to hell, because she supports abortion and God will treat anyone supporting that as a CHILD KILLER!".

Stripping churches of their tax exempt status will invite them into the public arena in ways that none of us have experienced in our lifetimes. In fact, part of the reason for churches HAVING tax exempt status nowadays is to keep them out of the public political arena as much as possible...the threat of taxation for direct political involvement is usually enough to keep them discrete and to force them to keep their endorsements indirect.

Keep in mind that the elderly are a huge voting block in this country, and that by a great majority they tend to vote Democratic (because we support Medicaid, SS, and other programs important to them). Unfortunately, elderly people ALSO tend to be far more religious than the rest of the population...people tend to fall back on their faith when they get old and realize that their lives are in twilight. Repeal the tax exempt status and you'll have conservative pastors all over this country scaring these old people into voting conservative out of fear for their immortal souls.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. "God wants all you good Baptists to vote for Jeb this November"
Were you not paying attention in 2004? This happened.

"Is it a sin for Catholics to vote for former altar boy John Kerry? That's the line Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan began pushing in early May, when he penned a pastoral letter to his 125,000 parishioners titled, "On the Duties of Catholic Politicians and Voters." "Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem-cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation," Sheridan wrote. "Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem-cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences."
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040614/nichols

There were many many other examples of open political advocacy from the pulpit in the 2004 elections.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. Very different.
Churches currently acknowledge the rights of parishoners to select their own candidates. Their political influence is fairly limited, in that they can only recommend that voters follow their religious concience when voting. That is very different than having a priest stand in front of his flock and say "A vote for Kerry is a vote for Satan! A vote for Bush is a vote for God!"

Perhaps you need to have a religious background to get it, but I am fairly religious (though not practicing thanks to the Popes opinions of my bisexuality) and understand quite well that there's a huge difference between the two.

Also, I have to point out that the reason Bishop Sheridan's comments got so much press was the rarity of that kind of statement. Churches aren't usually even THAT direct with their members, which made that event noteworthy. 1 in 5 Americans attends church at least once a week, nearly half attend at least once a month, and almost 3 out of every 4 Americans attends some church at least once a year. Do you really want thousands of churches in America giving direct political orders to them when they attend?
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I'm sorry, but they ARE doing that right now. And they have been for years
There may be a few 'magic words' that they are careful not to say
for legal reasons, but it doesn't stop them from getting the
point across to the flock.

And in the enabling environment of the current regime,
they are becoming much bolder about it.
They KNOW they can politicize withour fear of the laws
being enforced, and are not-so-subtly encouraged to do so
by almost every branch of the current administration.

Actually, "encouraged" is too mild a word...many of
them are being DIRECTLY REWARDED for this.
All that "faith-based" grant money that B*shCabal has been
doling out is being distributed just as fairly as the latest
Homeland Security funds, which is to say:
GOP-supporters get the $$$, and everyone else can go pound sand.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. No, they aren't.
As another poster pointed out, churches are in the business of teaching morality, and it is very rare for churches to do anything more than remind parishioners that they should vote for candidates who match their moral philosophies. There is nothing wrong with that.

There have been exceptions, I know, but most churches are fairly paranoid about losing their tax exempt status and avoid politics like the plague.

BTW and FYI, I used to talk politics with my old priest on occasion. He voted for Gore :)
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #24
47. I'd like to add something to your point, if I may
When a church has decided to take a stand on an ethical issue (abortion, waging war, the death penalty, equal rights), no matter which position they take on an issue, they have a right to have positions on these issues.

Some might say that by discussing these issues they are engaging in politics but I disagree. Just because an issue is debated in the political arena does not make it off limits for churches. To insist that it does would mean that churches would be unable to take any positions on ethical issues affecting society because all one would would have to do to silence them would be to say "Hey there clergy, abortion/the war/death penalty/ civil rights movement are politics so shut up."
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oneold1-4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. "poor community churches? "
I don't see these around my small town! They may not all be mega-architectural behemoths, but nearly all are on valuable large city properties with municipal services. Most have a marquee of some type and use them for political commentary and voting advise on issues such as gay or school agendas. Even those who don't have a publicly visible stand, often make demands from the pulpit for church members.
They operate many very profitable businesses; from gambling to car sales, and agriculture to clothing manufacturing!
They should have to pay taxes on all property, income, business, and investments, with the same deductions for itemized charitable giving but not political contributions!
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
16. They should get the same deal as any other non-profit.
And they should be regulated like any other non-profit corporation. If they don't qualify as non-profit they should be taxed like any other for profit corporation or partnership.

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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. I don't have any problems with churhes getting into
politics -- and its something that we (the left) have done for 40+ years.

IMHO we should provide each church a tax deduction / member (say $1000), and allow that amount of income to be tax exempt / deductible for both the giver and the church.

Tax anything more than that, and levy sales/property taxes on any purchase other than for a sanctuary, parsonage, and religious education areas.

If various organization units deservere tax exempt status for other activities (such as secular education), allow them to apply for those exemptions separately.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
23. Churches receive tax-supported community services.
Thus, like any other property 'footprint' that gets fire and police protection and other taxpayer-paid government services, they should pay taxes. Donations should be deductible if and ONLY if churches strictly avoid any partisan political endorsements of any kind, including providing a partisan venue for campaigning. As soon as the church engages in partisan politics, they should lose their tax-deductible status retroactively.

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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
27. Churches should not pay taxes, but religious broadcasters should
All churches cross the line on occasion about politics, liberals as well as conservatives. If you make some law about making them pay taxes if they cross the line, whoever in power is can use that law to punish their enemies and reward their friends.

I give to my church and I damn well better get my tax deduction. I not only give money, I donate canned goods to be given to the poor, clothing for the homeless, and numerous other things that I don't claim on my taxes. Most churches, conservative, moderate or liberal do the same kinds of food and clothing drives for the poor. My church is a liberal church that has sponsored AIDS walks, Peace programs and Dennis Kucinich, when our previous pastor was there (she was a flake, and a big friend of Kucinich, but I won't name her). Before the 2002 elections, various democratic candidates came to the church to shake hands. This is not so different from what GOP candidates do in conservative churches, the perspective is just different.

If all you agnostics and atheists don't like it, you can give money to charity for a tax deduction, too. Or maybe you should start an organization where you and your fellow agnositcs and atheists get together to discuss your lack of religious beliefs, call it a religion, and get a tax deduction. Lots of non-christian religious organizations get tax deductions-I'll bet Circle Network and the Covenant of the Goddess do.

I do think religious broadcasters should pay taxes, the same way religious publishers do. They are not running a ministry, even though they call it that name, they are running a business.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
51. bryant69 is a Christian, genius.
This doesn't have SHIT to do with atheists or agnostics.

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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
31. Since from what I can see, some of our mega-churches here are
basically businesses, with big complexes, day-care, school, etc. they should be paying taxes.
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
32. I think it depends on if the church is operating as a service
Or as a business. There are some churches which exist to serve people and their community and they shouldn't pay taxes. Then there are some churches that exist to make money and they should pay taxes like the businesses that they are.
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carolinalady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
35. I picked no taxes, but politicians should be banned from
pulpit speaking and TV evangelists should be taxed if they pursue a political agenda. IMO.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-07-06 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
37. Would someone please explain to me why churches shouldn't
have to pay for the society that allows their existence like all of the rest of us. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
41. On what property?
Definitely on any holdings not directly involved with Church functions, and on everything if they take sides in electoral politics.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
45. Deleted message
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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
46. My feeling is that it is unconstitutional for churches to be tax-exempt.
Because it amounts to government support of the church. I think donations should be counted as charitable donations, because churches claim to be for the well-being of their members.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. Deleted message
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
50. Churches should not pay taxes -
- Churches do a good bit of charity and mission work. More than many people realize. My fairly small church assists people with utility bills, has free ESL classes, collects food and does work for the homeless, contributes material and works on Habitat for Humanity projects, assists the elderly and the sick, does mission work in Haiti, Mexico and close to home in NOLA, Mississippi and other places.

If churches were taxed, those charity and mission works would be reduced or eliminated. Who would pick up the slack? We would via taxes.

No church should be used as a political pulpit by anyone. Yes, the church may express an opinion on social matters but it may not endorse any candidate, which is how I believe the law reads.
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Freedom_Aflaim Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
52. Sure..If you want Churches involved in government
Just imagine how much more control they'll have when they are sending billions to Washington.

Personally, I think that seperation of Church and State is a good idea.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-09-06 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
53. Yes. No wonder they vote against us. n/t
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