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Thread: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    I don't know how many small-medium size churches you've spent time in over the years, Kreton. I grew up in them, my grandfather was the presiding pastor of one, and I still occasionally spend time in them. Very few of them are able to maintain their current monthly budgets as is. They get by on a yearly basis due to the late year added giving from the ETC (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) members who generally show up in December and do most of their giving at that time. I'm not talking about extravigant churches with 2500 square foot chapels, stained glass in every window, a paid staff numbering in the dozens, and all the trimmings. I'm talking the average congregations. There isn't much for them to cut in most cases.... except maybe the budget for missions work. Are you suggesting that churches start charging membership or attendance fees?, because if not I'm not sure how you suggest that most small-medium size churches would be able to stay afloat if they lost their tax exempt status.
    I grew up around both small town tiny little churches and mega churches. There is a disconnect between serving GAWD and many religions. There is also a difference between the pastor and the church. frankly I see many 'store front' Churches that serve no one but the pastor and allow Law Enforcement to levy an additional charge in some crimes...

    I see the huge First Baptist church and the tiny Catholic one in my hometown. I see inner city Catholic schools close while 'His Eminence' lives a very luxurious life. Sad but it seems wealth, or lack thereof, of the faithful does figure into the health of a Church, I don't think making a Preacher pay income tax on his lodgings is out of line.

    Certainly might take a bite out of the dozens of 'store front' churches I see as 95% for the tax dodge, and might cause the mega church preacher a bit more mindful of how Jesus really lived.

    My thought on the 3bees- if the Church has a large but lax following perhaps the fault doesn't lie with the tax code....

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    You do realize that by taking such things away you will turn Religious organizations and institutions into for-profit groups and likely take away most or their ability to do charity work, correct? Most churches barely break even, nevermind running a profit. Forcing them to pay more would put a large number of them out of business overnight.
    Hey, let the free religious market decide. Are you endorsing a bail-out of some sort or some sort of socialist agenda in regard to churches? Are they too big to fail like the auto industry or banks?

    I find it strange that some folks in our country would just as soon let a baby starve before approving the government to step in and help out. But are quick to approve of corporate welfare subsidiaries, foreign welfare or church welfare such as you seem to be suggesting.

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    sounds to me like a government subsidy for ministers, which would be a violation of the Constitution. My tax money shouldn't go to support religion, should it?
    Surely you know that if the door is opened to tax religious clergy, and church's that could invariably lead to government excluding religion from society in this country....And I think there might be a little problem of the 1st amendment for you to get around...."nor the free exercise thereof."
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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    true but a pastor receiving the housing would have to claim the rent value as income. Preachers are subject to income tax, which includes compensation such as use of a Church vehicle for non religious errands, the gas that vehicle uses if the Church provides that. The IRS doesn't go through tax returns that closely but the rules are pretty simple about what counts as income.
    Nonsense. Care to back up that bold assertion? Do you think that GIs pay tax on their rent free barracks room? Do you think an apartment maintenance man pays tax on their rent free apartment? Do you think that police officers pay taxes on their take home police cars?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Nonsense. Care to back up that bold assertion? Do you think that GIs pay tax on their rent free barracks room? Do you think an apartment maintenance man pays tax on their rent free apartment? Do you think that police officers pay taxes on their take home police cars?
    Ummm I was addressing the new ruling. The preacher doesn't skate on paying income tax if the Church provides the house. Troops don't pay because the feds don't pay income tax to itself... the maintenance man depends on the apartment owner. if the owner writes off the 'loss' of income for not collecting rent then the handiman has to claim the amount as additional income. there is no tax exempt status for maintenance men.

    The take home car is not for personal use but for business, just like the tax exemption I get for farm use vehicles and their fuel. the tax code is what it is.
    Last edited by notquiteright; 12-09-13 at 01:06 PM. Reason: police cars

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Ummm I was addressing the new ruling. The preacher doesn't skate on paying income tax if the Church provides the house. Troops don't pay because the feds don't pay income tax to itself... the maintenance man depends on the apartment owner. if the owner writes off the 'loss' of income for not collecting rent then the handiman has to claim the amount as additional income. there is no tax exempt status for maintenance men.

    The take home car is not for personal use but for business, just like the tax exemption I get for farm use vehicles and their fuel. the tax code is what it is.
    There is no add value of free rent/car use line on a tax form either.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    I don't know how many small-medium size churches you've spent time in over the years, Kreton. I grew up in them, my grandfather was the presiding pastor of one, and I still occasionally spend time in them. Very few of them are able to maintain their current monthly budgets as is. They get by on a yearly basis due to the late year added giving from the ETC (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) members who generally show up in December and do most of their giving at that time. I'm not talking about extravigant churches with 2500 square foot chapels, stained glass in every window, a paid staff numbering in the dozens, and all the trimmings. I'm talking the average congregations. There isn't much for them to cut in most cases.... except maybe the budget for missions work.

    Are you suggesting that churches start charging membership or attendance fees?, because if not I'm not sure how you suggest that most small-medium size churches would be able to stay afloat if they lost their tax exempt status.
    I am saying that many small to mid size churches have many expenses that are not crucial. And yes missions work is included and could be cut. Also no where in my post did I mention charging membership or attendance fees. The fact is most churches spend a decent amount of money on missions, harassing people and various other activities that would easily cover the cost of the taxes.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    I am saying that many small to mid size churches have many expenses that are not crucial. And yes missions work is included and could be cut. Also no where in my post did I mention charging membership or attendance fees. The fact is most churches spend a decent amount of money on missions, harassing people and various other activities that would easily cover the cost of the taxes.
    Another anti religion advocate. So, you really aren't concerned with the ramifications, or history of religion persecution, but rather just delight in any damage you can cause it....What did religion do to you that you feel such hate for it?
    Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    I grew up around both small town tiny little churches and mega churches. There is a disconnect between serving GAWD and many religions. There is also a difference between the pastor and the church. frankly I see many 'store front' Churches that serve no one but the pastor and allow Law Enforcement to levy an additional charge in some crimes...
    On that we will agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    I see the huge First Baptist church and the tiny Catholic one in my hometown. I see inner city Catholic schools close while 'His Eminence' lives a very luxurious life. Sad but it seems wealth, or lack thereof, of the faithful does figure into the health of a Church, I don't think making a Preacher pay income tax on his lodgings is out of line.
    Yes, the wealth of the congregation does figure into the health of a church. I won't/can't speak for the Catholic Church and its heirarchy since that's not something I am intimately familiar with. I do see that doing this would force churches to decrease the monies available for things like missions and outreach work.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Certainly might take a bite out of the dozens of 'store front' churches I see as 95% for the tax dodge, and might cause the mega church preacher a bit more mindful of how Jesus really lived.
    It would put the storefronts out of business ASAP. The mega church groups would not really be affected.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    My thought on the 3bees- if the Church has a large but lax following perhaps the fault doesn't lie with the tax code....
    How about when a church has a large following but simply doesn't have money? Inner cities. Small midwestern towns. Things like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    Hey, let the free religious market decide. Are you endorsing a bail-out of some sort or some sort of socialist agenda in regard to churches? Are they too big to fail like the auto industry or banks?

    I find it strange that some folks in our country would just as soon let a baby starve before approving the government to step in and help out. But are quick to approve of corporate welfare subsidiaries, foreign welfare or church welfare such as you seem to be suggesting.
    I am endorsing the idea that if the Government wants to remove the tax advantages from churches and church workers, that they need to do the same for other non-profit organizations. If the church is supposed to be separate from the Government, then how can the Government expect to collect taxes from it. This is not a subsidy or welfare, this is simply a separation of secular and religious worlds. Nothing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    I am saying that many small to mid size churches have many expenses that are not crucial. And yes missions work is included and could be cut. Also no where in my post did I mention charging membership or attendance fees. The fact is most churches spend a decent amount of money on missions, harassing people and various other activities that would easily cover the cost of the taxes.
    I think you'd find that "Missions" are a major requirement of the ministry of most churches. There is not a whole lot for most of these chuches to cut. The majority of them run on very tight budgets already and losing their tax exempt status would mean either having to find new forms of revenue (membership fees, attendance fees, etc....) or go out of business. It would definitely force them to cut the availability of their property to other non-profits like the BSA, many support groups, etc....

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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Another anti religion advocate. So, you really aren't concerned with the ramifications, or history of religion persecution, but rather just delight in any damage you can cause it....What did religion do to you that you feel such hate for it?
    You dont know what so ever, nor have I ever said anything to indicate hatred for a religion. Get off your high horse and stop trying to guess at things and instead try to address what was actually written.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
    Stephen R. Covey


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