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slave
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31 Aug 2015, 6:38 pm

I don't know about every country in the world, but I know that it is common for churches to not pay taxes.
How do you regard this issue?


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Humanaut
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31 Aug 2015, 7:04 pm

Maybe everyone shouldn't pay taxes?



Thethreeunforgivables
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31 Aug 2015, 7:14 pm

They should pay like all the rest of us.



blauSamstag
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31 Aug 2015, 7:18 pm

Si.



Grebels
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01 Sep 2015, 5:14 am

They have the same right as any other charity not to pay taxes. The minister will obviously have to pay tax on his income.



ZenDen
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01 Sep 2015, 3:13 pm

I used to think churches should not pay taxes, per our original founding father's ideas. It seemed like a good idea: The government wouldn't try to involve themselves with religion and religion would be separate from government. A mutual "hands off" policy.

But for a while now I've thought religions should pay taxes like everyone else. This because of church's/religion's insistence in involving themselves in politics at all levels. It completely ruins the "separation of church and state" idea and allows church participation in secular government while reserving all church matters to only church officials and church laws.

I believe, if they insist on meddling in secular matters, they should pay taxes, just like the rest of us mere mortals.



0_equals_true
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01 Sep 2015, 4:30 pm

Yes I think so.

I also think the legal definition of charity is stretched, Fee paying schools which cost significantly more than going to university get charity status in England.

Maybe there is the point he education should get tax relief.

I don't think that any religion or cultural group should get special treatment.



0_equals_true
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01 Sep 2015, 4:40 pm

ZenDen wrote:
I used to think churches should not pay taxes, per our original founding father's ideas. It seemed like a good idea: The government wouldn't try to involve themselves with religion and religion would be separate from government. A mutual "hands off" policy


How is separation of church an state consistent with churches not paying tax? I think you may have misunderstood the concept of your forefathers. On the contrary.

The point of separation of church an state in that the state doesn't endorse theistic rules or interfere with religious matters. This Principle has been widely breached especially since the cold war.



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01 Sep 2015, 9:42 pm

i think churches should be taxed. I don't see why they should count as a charity. According to the reading I have done, 90% of donations to churches go to running the church itself. Then the other 10% might make it's way a charitable cause. I don't see where 10% is enough to qualify as a charity and if it is, then I should count a a charity too.



visagrunt
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02 Sep 2015, 9:44 am

This is all very uncritical.

What taxes are we talking about? Income taxes, property taxes or consumption taxes?

On income, congregations are, typcially, not-for-profit corporations and registered charities. Why should one kind of not-for-profit organization pay tax on it's operating surplus, while the rest do not? Religious organizations should be treated no differently than schools, libraries, community centres, museums and all the other non-profit organizations out there.

On consumption, religious organizations DO pay tax in most jurisdictions. If you pay for goods or services, then sales taxes are added on whether you are a private individual, a non-profit or a business corporation.

Only in the area of property do I see a disconnect. It should be patently clear that buildings owned by congregations but used for secular purposes (e.g. schools, hospitals, shelters and the like) do not qualify for a religious exemption from tax. Clergy residences are in a gray area, but typically would not qualify either (at least in this country). Purely religious structures, such as churches, mosques, synagogues and missions normally would. I really see no reason why this should be, but the actual impact on municipal revenue is likely negligible.


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ZenDen
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02 Sep 2015, 11:20 am

0_equals_true wrote:
ZenDen wrote:
I used to think churches should not pay taxes, per our original founding father's ideas. It seemed like a good idea: The government wouldn't try to involve themselves with religion and religion would be separate from government. A mutual "hands off" policy


How is separation of church an state consistent with churches not paying tax? I think you may have misunderstood the concept of your forefathers. On the contrary.

The point of separation of church an state is that the state doesn't endorse theistic rules or interfere with religious matters. This Principle has been widely breached especially since the cold war.


Or perhaps YOU don't have as good a grasp of U.S. history as you think you do?

I suppose YOUR forefathers (?) may have been happy with a Church of England or some such other messy arrangement. But I'm sure, from European example, OUR fathers knew better and therefore by not taxing religion they made sure there were no lingering connections....government did not tithe the church; simple as that. And that's the way it's been since.

There are other differences between the U.S. and other countries as well.....it's all in books/online if you're interested (I wouldn't be).



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02 Sep 2015, 11:32 am

Legally speaking, Churches are a not-for-profit.org like so many others. If you pull the tax exempt status of religious institutions, you have to pull the status of all nonprofits. And as far as getting involved in politics goes, most churches do not politicize the pulpit, and even those that do you would either have to let them continue or deprive all not-for-profits from getting involved in the political process. What's your choice?


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Grebels
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02 Sep 2015, 1:19 pm

Sorry if this is going off topic, but the UK state does appoint C of E Bishops, The Queen then approves. Bishops have seats in The House of Lords and therefore have votes as lawmakers. That's quite a bit of state involvement both ways.



glebel
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02 Sep 2015, 1:54 pm

Grebels wrote:
Sorry if this is going off topic, but the UK state does appoint C of E Bishops, The Queen then approves. Bishops have seats in The House of Lords and therefore have votes as lawmakers. That's quite a bit of state involvement both ways.

Hence the strong reaction against government interference in religion (and vice-versa) in the U.S. Constitution.


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GnosticBishop
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02 Sep 2015, 2:14 pm

slave wrote:
I don't know about every country in the world, but I know that it is common for churches to not pay taxes.
How do you regard this issue?


Religions are just selling fairy ales for adults.

Churches are thus just there to entertain us and should pay taxes just like any other entertainment center or business.

I do recognize that they sometime do charitable work, but like most charities, most of what they collect never gets used for charitable work and just goes to cover their own salaries and expenses. They are thus basically frauds and should pay taxes.

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