Are Taxes Really Sacred?
Posted Mon Jan 30, 2012 05:22 PM
However, in spite of being a believer (Catholic by birth), I can't see why churches shouldn't pay taxes. I think the proliferation of doubtful denominations are making the concept of a church a joke, and I think freedom of religion is already falling apart in a significant way anyway.
What do you all think?
Posted Mon Jan 30, 2012 05:41 PM
Posted Mon Jan 30, 2012 09:57 PM
Posted Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:55 PM
Posted Wed Feb 01, 2012 06:36 PM
If you want a militarily and globally diminished U.S., there's no better way to do that than to take money away from it's government.
Posted Wed Feb 01, 2012 07:54 PM
Posted Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:55 AM
as long as the church maintains the churches (which i imagine is a significant cost) im okay with them not paying property taxes too.
pride in your country? the fact that your country gave you the opportunity to make something of yourself, and your tax dollars maintain your ability to make money? through not only infrastructure but military power, which secures trade routes and trade deals.
or the fact that youre helping your country remain the land of opportunity?
Posted Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:36 PM
I agree with you in terms of churches belonging to traditional denominations... Quebec City, founded in 1608, and one of the oldest city north of Mexico, is certainly a product of the Catholic church. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO due to the significance of its architecture and historical value. However, I have a great deal of difficulty when it comes to reconcile this with allowing churches like that of Scientology that are only used by unscrupulous individuals who're trying to avoid taxes.
I have nothing against avoiding taxes... I do it when I fill out my income tax return. After all, trying to minimize your taxes is legal, but I am not going to create the church of Sainte-Olive our Lady of SexForums, under the premise of freedom of religion, so I can declare my home a church and avoid paying property taxes and such. BTW, I think the Duggars have done just that... And yes, I think people who create their own churches are just crooks who basically take advantage of society at large in a very significant way.
I think many countries consider public proselitizing exactly as commercial advertising, and maybe that would be the key to consider what's a church dedicated to spiritual growth rather than the monetary kind, or even the political type.
Posted Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:14 AM
although i can think of a few instance where its circumvented, mega churches, or those guys that cure blind people by smacking them in the head...
Posted Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:49 AM
I, for one, am not interested on what other people decide to believe or not... That's their business, but you bet that if someone knocks at my door Saturday morning to show me the truth is going to piss me off as hell, and if you ask me, I'd very much like the government to discourage this kind of intrusion by asking these people to actually look for real jobs instead of looking to convert the inconvertible, and actually making a living out of this while the big bozo at the top benefits of the pyramid scheme. I mean, this is business, not religion...
Posted Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:21 AM
Wars without purpose
Foreign aid to brutal dictators and enemies.
Making laws that take more of our civil rights and liberties
....and let's not forget Congress:
Posted Tue Feb 07, 2012 05:22 AM
This is a great discussion and I thank you Olive for starting it. I for one believe strongly in church, para church organizations as well as non church charities and the kind work and services they do. There are scammers and charlatans to be sure however I think they are the exceptions and usually get weeded out... remember Jim and Tammy Bakker?
Back in the day the church and communities were the social safety net and in fly over country this is still often the case. They did a good job because for the most part it was provided out of the kindness of ones heart and compassion for those in need. Also I might add there were expectations that the beneficiary was doing their part to get out of their sorry situation....accountability you might say.
The government seemed at the time to think that was pretty cool and helpful to society as a whole hence the tax incentives. Now sadly the clumsy and cold government is taking an ever increasing role of compassionate, social provider, a conflict of disciplines to be sure. I promise you that if the tax deductibility of charitable giving is taken away, organizations all over the world doing very good work in places like Africa, Haiti and parts of Asia will fold over night. Who or what would fill the vacuum? Swan
Posted Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:35 PM
Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 08:39 PM
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012 04:09 AM
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:36 AM
But they need revenue! Revenue, revenue, revenue!!!!!
Wife and I are looking at purchasing a new house this summer. Bumped into a new consideration called "Special Service Area" (LOL)...or SSA. This is something the OP might find nice and sanctimonious....put this in your pipe and worship it :
They literally arbitrarily raise taxes on residents of existing homes to pay for streets, sewage and infrastructure for new houses instead of wrappng those costs up in the newer houses. Wife and I saw a nice house for a DIRT cheap 67k. Should be a lot more, honestly....Too good to be true, right? Gotta have serious foundation issues or something, right?
Nope. It's part of an SSA. Taxes went from $5700 in 2004 to $8700 in 2005...adds $3k to annual taxes, for 20 years. Taxes still get the standard 3-5% booth annually, too. The taxes are literally more than the mortgage. Lub me sum dat gubmint! Not only does the owner of the house have to pay that outta-the-blue $60k in taxes, it crushes the value of thier homes when they try to sell it, as it adds $60k to the cost of ownership. Yeah, that'll help the depressed housing market, fuck-tard government....who elects these idiots? Oh wait...
donkey-dick retards....."sacred taxes", LOL.
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:39 AM
You're 100% right....because the government does everything it wants to take what it wants from whomever it wants. Although I wouldn't start a church for tax incentives...
Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 09:10 PM
illegal immigrants pay taxes.
not to mention the fact that although most of them pay income tax (75%) if they were working legally they would be refunded all of it because of how little they make.
then there is sales tax, and property tax. surely you arent suggesting they dont pay sales tax? or that they dont live in a house?
Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 05:02 PM
In the USA the First Amendment says something to the effect - "Congress shall make no law favoring one religion over another or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
If a State were to tax a Church it would in essence infringe on the free exercise of a persons right to worship and it would violate "the separation of state and church"
There is also a 1954 federal Johnson Amendment "the separation of church and state" which prohibits pastors from talking about political candidates from the pulpit in light of scripture. Based on these circumstances the IRS has the right to tax a church if it violates the Johnson Amendment. The IRS reserves the right to tax a church but I don't think it has ever been done.
I have other issues about churches and taxes to - I don't believe that a church should be taxed on its yearly income. That is income based on tithes though. I do have a huge problem with multi million dollar donations to the church where the church places the cash in trust and collects tax free income. Some churches are so wealthy that they can use they're cash to hold rallies (supposedly not church sponsored) or such to help a political candidates get elected.
Another things that annoys me is that churches don't have to pay property tax. I have to pay a shit load in property taxes based on the value of my home. It doesn't seem fair to me that a church three miles down the road from me doesn't pay property taxes. My property taxes are supposed to be used for the public schools in my neighborhood. But I really have no idea what that money is used for or spent on. People in my neighborhood attend that public church. We support that church. I think that churches should have to pay property taxes of some type. A tax based on some creative thinking - how about the size of their congregation to figure into a churches property tax. That would be somewhat similar to me having to pay property tax based on the value of my home.
Oh, I don't believe that churches that have a school attached to them should have to pay property taxes though. I could go on and on over this topic but I've already blathered on enough don't you think.
Posted Sat Feb 25, 2012 07:32 PM
However, a majority of churches spend thier money on the community already. Whether it's soup kitches, drug rehab programs, halfway houses, etc. I'd be hesitant to tax an organization that gets all or a cast majority of it's resources from tithes (donations) and spends it on helping the poor and improving the community. Even if we're not looking at it from a Seperations of Church and State perspective, the money churches spend on helping the needy in their community goes much further than that spent by government, be it local, state, or federal, what with bureacracy and all.
There are several churches on the southside of Chicago that I've done projects on for work, and it'd be a hit on the poor in the community for those churches to have to scale back 15%-25% because they have to pay taxes. The government may or may not use those funds to do the same thing, but even if they do it wont be nearly as effective as the church doing it.
But most of these churches don't get involved in endorsing candidates or political parties...and that's the crux. Don't get involved in government and government wont get involved in you....that's seperation of church and state.