I’m not sure how I feel about churches paying taxes.
I went to a little non christian church in Ventura California and I can’t imagine how it would survive if it paid taxes on the money we put in the basket.
One time it was so far in the red that the minister said, after her sermon, “I’m going to get in trouble with the board because we aren’t supposed to talk about money and make you feel insecure but the fact is we can’t pay the utility bills and we sure can’t pay to get a disability ramp put in so if you feel so inclined we could sure use extra financial help”
When I look at a church that has tons of money it annoys me that they don’t pay taxes but when a church is small and can’t even pay it’s ministers…. I don’t know.
I don’t necessarily disagree with tax-exempt status for churches. I think that’s important for charitable non-profits and I can see it would be hard to separate non-profits from churches. What I do object to is churches being able to hide all of their finances. Every other non-profit has to disclose how much of the donated money goes to salaries and how much to programs, in addition to other information. Churches don’t. If MH had had that kind of transparency, people probably would have picked up on the financial shenanigans earlier and voted with their money.
NPR had a piece on this a couple of months ago, mostly about the even more egregious televangelist industry.
Are you kidding me! Well isn’t that something. You don’t get to have the exempt status without the responsibilities to show that your money is actually used for the good of someone other than who’s runnin the show.
And it doesn’t seem a good church would have any reason to hide anything.
Churches do not exist/are not founded to do charity work, are they? Teaching debate-able scripture and sermons is not charity. Neither is feeding people if they agree or are coerced to be baptized and practice a religion.
So I am still inclined to say there should be no tax exempt status, although bg’s info softened my initial urge to reply hell no.
BOC, if churches were following the teachings of the Jesus of the Gospels, they sure would be doing charity work. “It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” That’s a whole ‘nother argument, though! :)