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  1. #1
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    Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    I would like to know why Churchs, Mosques and other places of worship are exempt from taxes. I know theres a seperation of church and state, but to me it seems un-fair that a building shouldnt have to pay taxes for being religious. Sure father o-maley doesnt have to worry about his big house of god having to pay up for being there. But poor Joe Schmoe right next door has to pay for his lot. Its just stupid. If I wear a cross, am I then exempt from taxes? Everyone is equal in America, unless your some religious guy, then your big building is free.

    You can call me ignorant, or stupid, or whatever else your imaginations can come up with. Its just the way I feel
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  2. #2
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    1) Because it belongs to a charitable and non-for-profit group:

    The second argument was what is often called the "charitable class argument" - religious properties are placed in a larger class of "eleemosynary institutions (from the Greek eleemosyne, "mercy"). Thus, the tax exempt status granted to all houses of worship is the same privilege given to other nonprofit organizations (hospitals, libraries, playgrounds, etc.). This meant that churches were not singled out for special treatment.

    New York...has determined that certain entities that exist in a harmonious relationship to the community at large, and that foster its moral or mental improvement, should not be inhibited in their activities by property taxation or the hazard of loss of these properties for nonpayment of taxes.


    Court Decision Religious Tax Exemptions: Walz v. Tax Commission of New York

    Furthermore it means that Churches and Mosques are not allowed to support a politician (individuals can, but the church cannot). While a Church can comment on moral and other issues they cannot endorse a candidate as that would violate their tax exempt status. This reduces the role of religion in government:

    The third argument was the issue of "excessive entanglement" - the Establishment Clause is supposed to minimize the interaction between church and state (this argument became the "third prong" in the Lemon test). However, if the government were to collect property taxes from churches, then the level of interaction could be raised to an unacceptable level.

    Either course, taxation of churches or exemption, occasions some degree of involvement with religion. Elimination of exemption would tend to expand the involvement of government by giving rise to tax valuation of church property, tax liens, tax foreclosures, and the direct confrontations and conflicts that follow in the train of those legal processes. ...Granting tax exemptions to churches necessarily operates to afford an indirect economic benefit and also gives rise to some, but yet a lesser, involvement than taxing them.

    Part of this argument involved emphasizing the difference between direct monetary subsidies and the indirect economic benefit of tax exemptions:

    The grant of a tax exemption is not sponsorship since the government does not transfer part of its revenue to churches but simply abstains from demanding that the church support the state. No one has ever suggested that tax exemption has converted libraries, art galleries, or hospitals into arms of the state or put employees 'on the public payroll.'


    Court Decision Religious Tax Exemptions: Walz v. Tax Commission of New York
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  3. #3
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    1) Because it belongs to a charitable and non-for-profit group:
    I fully agree. It is this very same reason why SA religious buildings are tax exempt.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    I think Dizzie was simply unaware that charitable and non-profit groups get this benifit, so he thought that churches were getting an unfair benifit (and with the knowledge I am assuming he had, I would come to that conclusion as well).
    There are 10 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don't.

  5. #5
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd
    Very well laid out except you put a 1) with no 2, 3, 4... etc. Which also means if this just copied, I should retract this rep.
    I actually make two arguments for tax exemption, however, I forgot to add the 2) for the second point.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  6. #6
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    I would like to know why Churchs, Mosques and other places of worship are exempt from taxes.
    They're NPOs.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  7. #7
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    There's only one thing I want to know: Can the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster be tax exempt too, then? What about Ann Coulter's alleged Church of Liberalism?

    As long as all other faiths and non-profit organizations are exempt, I have no problem with it.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    Quote Originally Posted by SC
    There's only one thing I want to know: Can the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster be tax exempt too, then?
    Yes, actually. You just need to apply for a 1099, I think the form is, at the IRS. No problemo.
    What is it like to be Libertarian and an Atheist? Imagine having the freedom to believe whatever you want, without the responsibility of it ever becoming accepted in the majority.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    As long as all other faiths and non-profit organizations are exempt, I have no problem with it.
    All NPOs are exempt.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

    HOLY CRAP MY BLOG IS AWESOME

  10. #10
    liberalgirl
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    Re: Should Religious Buildings Tax Exempt

    So, are cults tax exempt?

 

 

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