Look at how much we've spent fighting the War on Poverty since LBJs Great Society, and look at the results and you'll realize how foolish the assertions are.
One of many other examples is when an individual on leisure/business trip pays sales taxes while in hotels etc. Church does not.
They are then able to use those funds into other things, how is that not subsidizing?
Churches also do quite a bit of charity work as well. When my father was a deacon at our church they routinely have out cash to struggling families, helped pay utility bills, buy groceries and help people out. People want to talk about 70 billion, but how much will get lost in red tape, beauracracy and siphoned to general funds? If anybody really believes that the government is the best and most efficient stewards of money, they are idiots.
How much money is currently being thrown at welfare, school lunches, section 8, WIC currently? Anybody see any drop in the poverty rate? At what point after taking the 70 billion and "ending poverty" how many middle class people paying into the 70 billion just decide to say "**** it, why work?" When does 70 become 100 or 200?
Not sure where the 70 billion calculation came from. I mean are they talking Fed Income taxes, state income taxes, local property taxes or all of them combined?
While they may be able to ESTIMATE the donations churches receive I doubt they considered that if taxed it would be on profit not donations/receipts/revenue. So when you take the expenses from the revenues many of these churches would have a pretty small bottom line.
Also, the amounts given to churches today and the expenses they have would change if taxed. When you change the law then folks behavior and decisions around the new law change also. That's why these straight line assumption calculations are beyond stupid in the first place.
Also, why stop at churches. How about every 501(c) not-for-profit corp?
I guess we didn't technically invade Libya...we just attacked them with no congressional approval.Labor's $60 Billion Payoff
A health tax that hits everyone except the Democratic base.
Democrats seem impervious to embarrassment as they buy votes for ObamaCare, but their latest move makes even Nebraska's Ben Nelson look cheap: The 87% of Americans who don't belong to a union will now foot the bill for a $60 billion giveaway to those who do.
The Senate bill was financed in part by a 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance coverage. The White House backs this "Cadillac tax" as one of the few remaining cost-control tokens. But Big Labor abhors the tax because union benefits tend to be far more generous than average, and labor leaders and House Democrats have been throwing a political tantrum for weeks.
So emerging from their backrooms, Democrats have agreed to extend a special exemption from the Cadillac tax to any health plan that is part of a collective-bargaining agreement, plus state and local workers, many of whom are unionized. Everyone else with a higher-end plan will start to be taxed in 2013, but union members will get a free pass until 2018.
Ponder that one for a moment. Two workers who are identical in every respect—wages, job, health plan—will be treated differently by the tax system, based solely on union membership.
Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO says this and other concessions mean the excise tax will raise some $60 billion less than the original Senate version. Democrats are probably going to charge investors for this political perk, by extending the 2.9% Medicare payroll tax to capital gains for the first time ever—on top of all the other taxes. Just what the economic recovery needs.
Meanwhile, the extra five-year dispensation gives labor lobbyists plenty of time to negotiate a permanent extension for the Democratic union base, even as labor is being armed with an important new organizational tool: Eliminating the secret ballot in union elections might be unnecessary when unions have an exclusive tax privilege at their political disposal. Right-to-work states will also be punished because they are less unionized.
The payoff shows that no one is doing a better job of rebutting the White House's technocratic cost-control claims than its own party. How exactly is the excise tax going to drive down premiums when a good part of the most expensive plans is exempted? The new union deal follows a similar one with Harry Reid that exempted the 17 states in which health costs are highest, plus longshoremen, construction workers, some farmers and sundry other liberal allies.
Amid the Beltway panic over Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts and deepening public revulsion about sweetheart deals like Mr. Nelson's "Cornhusker kickback," it's more than a little surprising that the White House would be so tone-deaf to even contemplate a demand that is so contrary to basic fairness. But somehow Democrats have convinced themselves that the only tourniquet that will stop the political bleeding is to pass a bill that even President Obama admitted on Thursday is deeply unpopular.
Democrats wouldn't have to pay these partisan bribes had they chosen to write a less radical bill that could attract Republican votes. But then they would have had to pass something other than this destructive and unaffordable exercise in entitlement politics.
Because if you're not taxing groups who provide abortions, or endorsing a certain racial ancestry you're a philanthropist and do gooder. If you mention God or moral principals you believe in while doing so you're evil and taking advantage of the people . . .
And I make this statement as person who is admittedly not a Christian. But I do recognize the nut ball lefties war and double standard toward mainstream religion in this country. We are promised Freedom of Religion, not freedom from religion.
The ultimate libtard argument if I don't take money from you that means i am giving you money.
We should avoid taxing churches at all costs. Power to tax is the power to destroy. Levying taxes on churches risks the violation of the First Amendment, IMO.
So instead of letting them give because they feel like their religion requires it, lets force them to help people they may not want to help? What the ****. Now the government wants to get into the charity business....great.
Its unfair that a small business owner with $40K in revenue is taxed on his property but this(and many other) 24 acre 65,000 sq ft. $24,000,000 monstrosity gets away without any:
It does rub me the wrong way, doesnt you?
One of those moments where you think, "damn, I shouldn't have made this thread".
the Church, since that's what the focus of this statement was about, does far more with this supposed 70 billion than the gov ever could...agree or disagree there are a ton of great services that are provided by the Churches in America that are paid for by people who are already being taxed and yet still give...the idea that if we tax just a little more we would be able to do such grandiose things is what the public has been told for 70+ years and yet we have little to no progress...i do think churches need to be much more quiet politically or they should lose that exemption...if you tax churches just wait for the firestorm of politics which is already bad but would become much worse.
Example 1) The employees even though may not be a contractor are allowed to be viewed as self employed for tax purposes so the church can GET AWAY from paying employment tax that all of us small business owners so badly hate. If I didnt have to pay these employment taxes my profits would go up by 15%.
Example 2) Sales taxes. The COGS(cost of goods sold) of the business I am in makes up about 30% of my revenue where I pay anywhere between 9-12% in sales taxes. If I didnt have to pay these sales taxes my profits would go up by 20%.
The above examples alone deduct about 35% from my bottom line, oh and then there's the dreaded Income taxes after that.
And again, my premise isnt that I want them to tax the churches, its for them to make it fair. Because if I got to keep my taxes just like the church even I (will)do a better job of employing people than the Govt does.
Last edited by URNotserious; February 24th, 2013 at 07:44 PM.
We, on the other hand are only exempt to the level of our tax bracket IF and when we do charitable work. So for an individual with an effective tax bracket of say 30% when donates 100K, only gets to deduct 30K of that amount. 70K still goes out of our pockets. Not the same for a church.
Apples and Oranges cub.
This whole thread is a little big disorienting.
Are we talking about:
A. Churches not paying taxes on revenue from the sale of goods/services (which as mentioned earlier is a very very small amount)
B. Churches not paying sales/property tax (which are localized taxes)
C. Exemptions from people donating to churches
D. Something else
The problem you're running into with your tax situation vis-a-vis churches is that you are running a for-profit business
A. Yes. Agreed that it may be small and HUGE in some cases, but that doesn't stop us from taxing small business does it? Church is no different.
B. Yes. Regardless of where the funds go, they shouldn't get away from paying a tab of 100s of thousands if rich/poor people are taxed as well. Infact the county that the above church is in, could really receive a boost if it were to pay its fair share of property tax instead of overpaying its Bishops and Pastors. Bishop TD Jakes from the church above lives in the same neighborhood as I do and has a networth of around 18 million. His 'base' salary from the church was $250,000 plus bonuses(where the real money comes from). You think some of that is tax payers money?
C. Donations should be viewed as income(and yes I am aware what impact it would have towards exemptions for donors as well). Currently these churches can afford to build such grandiose and repulsive structures only because they're not taxed on anything. If they had to pay their fair share, maybe they would budget a little better.
D. Treat it like any other entity(S Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietorship) without affording it special privileges.
What business is it of yours how much pastors make? Does the amount of their salary dictate which churches should be taxed? By and large, men and women of the cloth live pretty modest lifestyles.B. Yes. Regardless of where the funds go, they shouldn't get away from paying a tab of 100s of thousands if rich/poor people are taxed as well. Infact the county that the above church is in, could really receive a boost if it were to pay its fair share of property tax instead of overpaying its Bishops and Pastors. Bishop TD Jakes from the church above lives in the same neighborhood as I do and has a networth of around 18 million. His 'base' salary from the church was $250,000 plus bonuses(where the real money comes from). You think some of that is tax payers money?
Your personal, anecdotal revulsion of the size of churches is 100% irrelevant to any logical discussion. Some people think those churches are just fine. Who the hell are you, or who the hell is the government, to tell a church how it should be built?C. Donations should be viewed as income(and yes I am aware what impact it would have towards exemptions for donors as well). Currently these churches can afford to build such grandiose and repulsive structures only because they're not taxed on anything. If they had to pay their fair share, maybe they would budget a little better.
See my response to A regarding the constitutionality of what you're suggesting.D. Treat it like any other entity(S Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietorship) without affording it special privileges.
Not to mention just generally, why would you want the government involved in decision-making on such a local level? Telling them how much to pay pastors, how big to build churches....give me a physical break.
And stop telling me that its fair to tax a mom and pop store owner for his 400 sqft facility more than that 24,000,000 dollar monstrosity. Its unfair anyway you cut it. It was an example which by nature is anecdotal.
Let me start by saying i think URN has done a good job of laying out his beliefs without attacking...something everyone can learn from...i do think that it is an unfair comparison to say a church is the same as a business but that's my belief. Nothing in the current tax code is "fair" Facebook just got 429 million dollar reimbursement and GE doesn't pay taxes because of all the loopholes so if we closed some of those loopholes we'd make far more than the 71 billion.
When it comes to pastor's getting paid money TD Jakes is in the top .000000001% of pastors so it's not a very fair analogy to use him...yes mega churches can pay mega bucks but most pastor's who are in mega churches don't draw a salary at all (rick warren, bill hybel, rob bell all were paid $1 because of their book revenues) so i think Jakes is the major exception.
Churches are taxed on land when it is purchased but not after that so it's not totally true that they are scott free but they usually are local communities where the city/state get access to them for little to no cost...my church in MD let's the YMCA use their facilities for free and that has saved them tens of thousands and many churches do the same.
I will say that URN has brought up some good points and i am working my way through thinking about them. I know from personal experience that churches don't have much left over and to tax them would be to shut them down so unless we say that only churches who reach x revenue or expenses than i don't think we could do this at this point in time. Also all the of the good that churches/non-profits do is far more than the money that the gov would get could do and i think that is important to remember. Most churches host a variety of community opportunities that would be lost if taxed and so i look at it as that money is being diverted into community funds already instead of going directly into the gov warchest to be wasted...again you have brought up some good points
dear op....you never answered my question about every 501(c) org.
Do you think all of these orgs should lose their status or just the religious ones?
Dying to know that as well...