Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Has the time arrived to now tax church property?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) February 22nd, 2010

For years, most churches have avoided having to pay property taxes. in my city, there is a church on just about every corner. this would be a tremendous amount of needed revenue for local and state governments. should churches now be taxed on their property or would this just drive the church members away, when the church asks for more money from its members, to pay the taxes?

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11 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

Tax the churches. Tax them all. Take away their tax-exempt status and treat them like any other social or political organization.

DrC's avatar

I guess if you did that, then donations to the church could no longer be tax deductable for individuals.

VohuManah's avatar

I don’t know if I could stand the whines of the religious-right discussing how ‘fascist communist voodoo witchcraft satanic devil-worshiping radicals’ are destroying this country, but churches have every right to pay just as much in taxes as every other building.

augustlan's avatar

Before churches became so politically active, I was fine with their tax-exempt status. I think it’s pretty clear at this point that they are no longer holding up their end of the bargain, and should be taxed.

ChaosCross's avatar

If it is a yes or no, it will have to be all church properties.

Strauss's avatar

I think their tax-exempt status should be contingent on their holding up their end of the bargain, as @augustlan said.

PacificRimjob's avatar

Long, long overdue.

liminal's avatar

If we are going to go after the churches I wonder if we should be taxing all not-for-profits, for example, universities.

augustlan's avatar

@liminal If they’re being politically active, then yes.

liminal's avatar

@augustlan I agree. I am inclined to go so far as to say that those involved in political activism should lose their not-for-profit status and be subjected to all forms of taxation. (I have to think about it.)

Ron_C's avatar

I actually had to search for this question. I wish I had seen it when it was written. I absolutely believe that making churches tax exempt simply because they are churches is unconstitutional. I can understand granting deductions and exemptions for charitable acts like food pantries, and medical missionaries but absolutely am against tax free property used solely for religious purposes. All churches should pay the prevailing property taxes that other businesses pay and contributions for church building projects or maintenance should not be exempt from taxes. Further if a church gets and exemption it need to prove that the money went for its charitable projects and not things like preacher’s salaries or support for religious missionaries.

Billions are wasted each year for religious exemptions and for the religious exemptions from social security taxes. We can no longer afford to support religion and I hate that I have to pay higher property taxes because church property is written off the city’s tax base.

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