Should Churches be Taxed?

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Should Churches be Taxed?

Mwar Mwar
Your opinion may differ based on many things, but my question is straightforward. Should churches be taxed? Why or why not?

Bonus Question: if you do not live in the U.S., are churches taxed where you live? What is the sentiment there?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Yes
67  (60%)
No
36  (32%)
Other
8  (7%)
Total votes: 111
Poll is closed
09/29/2012
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edenguy edenguy
I think they should be except. That said, I think there should be tighter restrictions on political proselytizing.
09/29/2012
Leather & Lace Leather & Lace
no!
09/29/2012
LoooveMonkey LoooveMonkey
If they MAKE people give them money and have fees, yes, they probably should. If they are donations of people's own free will, then no, the government needs to keep their hands out of that.
09/29/2012
Kissy Kissy
They a lot of times, volunteer, donate to homeless, etc... so no.
09/29/2012
sXeVegan90 sXeVegan90
I'm going against what others might vote, as I think churches should be taxed. Owners of churches bring in thousands of dollars, if not more, and you honestly have no idea where your money is going. They use money for expansion, and some claim they put that money to use in charity, but honestly, there is no proof to say that the money isn't going into the owners own pockets. Yes, they should be taxed. I feel like if they're going to make as much money as they do, there has to be some form of regulation on the money they make. People who give to the church hope and believe that the money is going to a good cause, but you honestly never know.
09/29/2012
Sinfully Sinfully
Quote:
Originally posted by sXeVegan90
I'm going against what others might vote, as I think churches should be taxed. Owners of churches bring in thousands of dollars, if not more, and you honestly have no idea where your money is going. They use money for expansion, and some claim ...
This is exactly what I was going to say.
09/29/2012
deltalima deltalima
Quote:
Originally posted by Mwar
Your opinion may differ based on many things, but my question is straightforward. Should churches be taxed? Why or why not?

Bonus Question: if you do not live in the U.S., are churches taxed where you live? What is the sentiment there?
Definitely.
09/29/2012
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Quote:
Originally posted by edenguy
I think they should be except. That said, I think there should be tighter restrictions on political proselytizing.
So freedom of speech is for everyone except for your pastor, rabbi or imam?

Thankfully freedom of speech is universal.

Taxation is a societal choice, if the majority can convince their representatives to eliminate the exemption they can - but I don't see that happening any time soon.

The same is true for charitable deductions - a large portion of go to religious organizations.
09/29/2012
hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
No - taxing churches leads into all kinds of possible abuses. We already know that the biggest bribes to congressmen leads to laxer tax laws, and now we know that making a movie critical of Islam can have you arrested and detained without possibility of bail. Do you really want to live in a country where "wrong" religions have to pay higher taxes or special taxes, and "right" religions get to pay lower taxes?
09/29/2012
junipersgame junipersgame
I think they should be.
09/29/2012
SiNn SiNn
Quote:
Originally posted by Mwar
Your opinion may differ based on many things, but my question is straightforward. Should churches be taxed? Why or why not?

Bonus Question: if you do not live in the U.S., are churches taxed where you live? What is the sentiment there?
I think if we have to pay taxs churchs should too
09/29/2012
damnbul12 damnbul12
yes they should
09/29/2012
Voir Voir
Yes definitely. They can collect money and they pay the people who work for them
also there are some churches who require a fee to attend.

A church in my area requires the members to submit their w2's and a percentage of their annual income goes to the church - it's a pretty big percent too..

Also a lot of their opinions heavily affect political matters and I say if they want an opinion in government they should be taxed just like everyone else. Any other religious institution would be taxed because it wouldn't be recognized as a religion and simply as a 'cult' so I feel they shouldn't get preferential treatment just because of bigotry B|
09/29/2012
Voir Voir
Quote:
Originally posted by hyacinthgirl
No - taxing churches leads into all kinds of possible abuses. We already know that the biggest bribes to congressmen leads to laxer tax laws, and now we know that making a movie critical of Islam can have you arrested and detained without possibility ...
Considering churches are the only officially recognized religion and the only one's able to be exempt from taxes I'd say we already are. Especially considering they already throw their weight around with government with their masses of brainwashed followers. If it wasn't so you wouldn't have people screaming religious arguments in favor of banning abortion or gay marriage just to name a few hot topics of the US.
09/29/2012
gsfanatic gsfanatic
I would say that churches should not be taxed as long as they don't spend money on political advertising. When they began to either lobby or contribute to campaign funds, that money should be taxed heavily. You get freedom of religion, not freedom to be a political entity
09/29/2012
Cat E. Cat E.
I don't see why they shouldn't be.
09/30/2012
hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
^ But that is saying that religious organizations do not have freedom of speech and expression, which is explicitly violating the First Amendment.

I know it isn't taught in schools, because it's this big, dark, scary secret, but if you prevent the religious and their corresponding organizations from having freedom of speech, you have government tyranny just as sure as if you allow only one religious organization to hold sway. If churches did not have freedom of political expression, just as an example, emancipation would not have gained popular steam. It started as a movement in the churches, it gained popularity in churches, and much of the fundraising was done in churches.

Even if they are not pursuing such a noble goal, by muzzling a church, you are saying that non-religious/secular organizations are more deserving of free speech, which denies the free practice of religion. By opening the floodgates of taxing religious non-profit organizations, you are saying that the religious are not equally deserving of rights, protections, considerations, etc., presumably because all other non-profits would continue to operate tax-free. Yes, this allows for loopholes where some churches have abhorrent practices, but it also prevents favoritism, the appearance of favoritism, or special interests from dominating the tax status of various religious organizations. It seems a lot of people are just taking a secular point of view without thinking it all the way through. If PETA, which kills somewhere like 75% of the animals it takes in, provides huge salaries for it's upper echelons, and donates money to eco-terrorists is a tax-free non-profit, why should St. Whosawhatit's, a tiny church that pays a livable wage to it's few employees, and spends most of it's fully voluntary tithes on charities like food pantries, homeless shelters, free daycares for single parents, and sending doctors to Third World countries suddenly be taxed because they believe in God? Unless you want to massively expand the IRS, which can't even properly audit the Federal Government, to audit every non-profit in America and find out if they are being responsible with their money.


And Voir, are you suggesting that all possible opposition to abortion is religious?
09/30/2012
K101 K101
Quote:
Originally posted by Mwar
Your opinion may differ based on many things, but my question is straightforward. Should churches be taxed? Why or why not?

Bonus Question: if you do not live in the U.S., are churches taxed where you live? What is the sentiment there?
No, I do not believe they should be and am pretty concerned/shocked even that that would be a concern. WHY? I really cannot think of a reason this would be an issue/concern. Well, perhaps I know one reason, and it would be just another way to target church-goers, but I doubt that's what most people would ever really consider a good reason.

We tax the hell out of tanning, smokers, etc. Why not start taxing pornography? Now that would make one huge difference in this country!
09/30/2012
K101 K101
Quote:
Originally posted by LoooveMonkey
If they MAKE people give them money and have fees, yes, they probably should. If they are donations of people's own free will, then no, the government needs to keep their hands out of that.
Is there any church that "MAKES" people give them money? Not a single one I have ever been to or even heard of. Is there some that do?

At a church, or at least every church I have attended, here's how it goes: you sit down for FREE and listen to the pastor preach and carry on in whatever conversation you may have about the lesson/teaching, and then either before the preaching happens or after, and in some cases both, a plate will be passed around during singing, discreetly so that anyone who WISHES to give donation can.

EXACTLY like the donation boxes you see at gas stations and McDonalds and everywhere else asking you to please support teaching, something to do with the local schools, BREAST CANCER, etc. Except the difference at church is, you're getting a lesson and food for free.

So yes, it is definitely of free will. I personally have usually brought donations, at least a dollar or two unless I happened to forget any cash at all. But it's always been free-will everywhere I've heard of or attended myself.
09/30/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
I think they need to be tax exempt because the churches around here generally use the money to do things for the community, provide food for food banks etc. If it's one of those churches that all they care about is money for the pocket then yes.
09/30/2012
Trysexual Trysexual
They should be taxed or keep out of politics/business.
09/30/2012
MissCandyland MissCandyland
Quote:
Originally posted by sXeVegan90
I'm going against what others might vote, as I think churches should be taxed. Owners of churches bring in thousands of dollars, if not more, and you honestly have no idea where your money is going. They use money for expansion, and some claim ...
I agree!
09/30/2012
Allstars316 Allstars316
No they shouldn't.
09/30/2012
UnknownGirl UnknownGirl
Yes. Why shouldn't they? Religion is big business and they should be taxed accordingly.
09/30/2012
skeeterlynn skeeterlynn
Quote:
Originally posted by sXeVegan90
I'm going against what others might vote, as I think churches should be taxed. Owners of churches bring in thousands of dollars, if not more, and you honestly have no idea where your money is going. They use money for expansion, and some claim ...
Agreed.
09/30/2012
hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by UnknownGirl
Yes. Why shouldn't they? Religion is big business and they should be taxed accordingly.
Are you going to tax all non-profit organizations, or just religious ones?
09/30/2012
hyacinthgirl hyacinthgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by Trysexual
They should be taxed or keep out of politics/business.
So the religious should just shut up and stop exercising their First Amendment rights?

You do realize that part of the freedom of religion specification was because it was illegal for certain religions to have any sort of say in public in Europe at the time, right?
09/30/2012
gehuwd gehuwd
I do not think that they should be taxed. A church is a non profit organization. Yes there are some people that have started their own churches and have abused their position and have profited themselves. However for majority of churches all the money that they take in majority of it is spent on operating costs (building, utilities...). Some of it will be spent on the pastor for his/her living expenses, and some of it will be spent on the churches activity groups, mission trips, and charity. Of the churches that I have attended the money spent is shown to everybody in the pamphlet handed out as you enter the church. As for how they receive the money it is typically through offerings and tithes. A tithe for those that do not know is 1/10. The reason why 1/10 of your income is asked for, but not demanded is that for christian churches it calls for 1/10 of you income before taking anything out of it to be given to the church in the Bible.
09/30/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Mwar
Your opinion may differ based on many things, but my question is straightforward. Should churches be taxed? Why or why not?

Bonus Question: if you do not live in the U.S., are churches taxed where you live? What is the sentiment there?
If the church is using the money raised to care for the priest/preacher and the poor of the parish/congregation then no I think as a charitable organization it should not be taxed. If, however, it can be proved that funds raised are being used to push an issue/agenda or to fund non-charitable efforts or events then they should be subject to applicable taxes and lose their exempt status.
09/30/2012
Total posts: 70
Unique posters: 54