Everybody else has to pay taxes, and just because they believe in a magical fairy in the sky does not mean they should be spared having to pay taxes. It's only fair that if everyone else has to pay taxes, then religious institutions should have to pay taxes as well.
yes, i do think that one of these do need to pay their fair share of taxes just like any other business, since that is what they pretty much are, and all that they are after is ways to make money off of the people that are going there now.
Religious institutions are tax exempt but often take advantage of this status. They are, after all, using the land and infrastructure of this very government. Ideally the tax exempt status would be revoked, although if these religious institutions prove themselves to be charitable they deserve at least a major return.
The smaller religious institutions do not bother me. They don't need to pay taxes. But some of these larger institutions are just that, "Larger institutions." Tax dollars are used to investigate embezzlement, fraud and even more serious cases. The Vatican is a very large institute that is in no way innocent of causing trouble. Our tax dollars goes to investigate those heinous crimes. Such larger organizations, for example mega-church televangelists, obviously make a lot of money. Making a lot of money isn't necessarily sinful, but what those larger groups DO with that money that can turn into unscrupulous behavior. Eventually, someone has to clean up their mess, and that costs money, and that leaves the government. I am sure that the larger religious groups can afford it. Maybe even by default, it would dissuade some false preachers to forgo their plans to suckle peoples' hopes and dreams while emptying the innocent accounts. There are other ways for them to reduce their tax burden; it is called, "Charitable donation." Let's put it on record.
Organized religion is a profession like anything else. Pastors, ministers and rabbi's are a profession like anything else. The church recruits more followers so they can bring in more streams of income like any business. Churches try to grow and expand like any business. Therefore, they should pay taxes like any other business.
I think that religious institutions should definitely have to pay taxes. I do not have any problems with any type of religion, but I do not think that a religion that has an infrastructure in public should be available to avoid taxes. A church for example should have to pay taxes.
Churches are considered charities. They are given the leeway to not publish any records or file any returns to demonstrate that they are actually charitable, leading to select clergy who are bathed in gold.
As they stand now, they should either open their books, and demonstrate that they are not-for-profit charities, or they should be made to pay taxes.