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

  1. #21
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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Neither should "non-profit" organizations, or businesses that lobby for special treatment, but that is the nature of politicians; to please (reward?) those that support them so long as the voters do not object by not re-electing them.

    80% of the federal income tax code is devoted to deductions, credits, exclusions, exemptions and allowing use of clever accounting schemes to offer "special" treatment of those that lobby our congress critters on behalf of campaign contributors.
    That's an entirely different subject. Some deductions and tax credits and the like are there for a good reason. Certainly they can and should be evaluated on their merits. This one severely lacks merits. But the special treatment that religious organizations enjoy is a violation of the first amendment. The government should not giving religious organizations special tax breaks merely for being religious.
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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 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....
    If the church cant afford the missions then so be it. It will not stop or prohibit people from attending a service or worshipping.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Judge strikes down law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    That's an entirely different subject. Some deductions and tax credits and the like are there for a good reason. Certainly they can and should be evaluated on their merits. This one severely lacks merits. But the special treatment that religious organizations enjoy is a violation of the first amendment. The government should not giving religious organizations special tax breaks merely for being religious.
    No, but it is a violation of the 14th amendment. It does not establish any particular national religion, but it does offer unequal protection of the law.
    “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
    There is no add value of free rent/car use line on a tax form either.
    Not the issue- self employed report their income.

    Now back to the house. The Church buying the house and then allowing the self employed preacher to live there doesn't negate the preacher from having to claim a fair market value for the use of a home. What might be even more interesting is if the house is ruled to be income property and not Charitable property like a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Not the issue- self employed report their income.

    Now back to the house. The Church buying the house and then allowing the self employed preacher to live there doesn't negate the preacher from having to claim a fair market value for the use of a home. What might be even more interesting is if the house is ruled to be income property and not Charitable property like a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
    You are way out there now, since the clergy are not self employed - they are paid employees of the church.
    “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 Kreton View Post
    If the church cant afford the missions then so be it. It will not stop or prohibit people from attending a service or worshipping.
    What you apparently miss is that Mission work is a major part of the doctrine of many of these churches. Whether that's the local food pantry, UNICEF, LAMP, or any number of other missions inside and outside of their local communities.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreton View Post
    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.
    Yes....And you wrote this: "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." Why? Because you hold no ill feelings for religion obviously... Maybe you should not try and be clever...You're not good at it.
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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
    From the link in the OP:



    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?

    While there at it, maybe they could take a look at some of the other exemptions and exclusions that are unfair to the rest of the taxpayers
    .

    Agreed, that would cover all group specific exemptions.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    I agree with this decision. In giving clergy members special treatment over everybody else, when paying taxes does not hinder their ability to do their job, the establishment clause of the US Constitution is violated.

    I guess I don't need to beat the IRS by forming my own religion now. LOL.

    Article is here.
    It should be noted, just to be fair, that although the housing allowance is excluded from income tax it is subject to self employment tax. It should also be noted that the tax is applied even if the clergy member doesn't own the property.

  10. #30
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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
    From the link in the OP:



    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?

    While there at it, maybe they could take a look at some of the other exemptions and exclusions that are unfair to the rest of the taxpayers.
    The Church racket is the biggest single fraud in America. The IRS processes hundreds of thousands "Church" applications. Most non-profits are scams and the religion scam is the biggest of them all.

    Send your Donations to The Church Of The Most Holy Specklebang. Taxes are for little people.

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