Christian churches in America today simply don't stay out of politics- they develop lobbies, tell their congregations who to vote for, organize rallies. The separation of church and state should only protect them if they do their part and stay OUT of government.
If a church starts getting involved in politics- tax the hell out of them. Pun intended.
There is no real rationalization for not taxing the income of churches. It's on old habit passed down from when the Church held sway in most governments. As it happens, that exemption is only legal when the church in questions stays out of politics and does not endorse one party or candidate. Lots of churches are violating that rule and the government has been too wimpy to enforce the law. So much for the separation of church and state.
Why should religious 'clubs' have an advantage over other non-religious clubs?
Why should we subsidise other members of societies interests when they don't subsidise ours?
The 'charity' argument is a fallacy, given that the majority of their money goes on wages and upkeep of their buildings and assets.
I'd treat them like all other businesses and give them 'relief' for their charitable donations.
Well, if direct tax is taken from businesses and the homestays of our people because it is a cause of income, then we must tax all income, no biased tax should be allowed in this state of ours. We need to stop being so oversensitive on matters of religion and talk about it as adults an treat it as any other establishment.
The church is non-profit. It's illegal to tax them, regardless of your views or opinion of the church. It's not Tax Evasion, if you think it is, you need to research what Tax Evasion actually is. Another issue is Separation of Church and State, if the Church has no say in Government, you can't tax it. If you could tax the Church, they'd have to be allowed to get involved in the Government taking their money.
Lastly, you simply do not tax Donations, period. No matter WHO you hate and What you feel, you NEVER tax donations. They could be donations to the Socialist Party of Hell, and it's wrong to tax it. If you give someone $10, than they better get $10. You can't say donations shouldn't be taxed... Unless it's the Church, cause screw the church. It's wrong.
One last thing, instead of thinking of have you can lower the debt with taxes, think of how you can lower the debt by actually lowering the debt.
KEYPOINT! If you add more in taxes, you do not decrease the debt, you increase spending! Studies over a long period show that for every time $2 added to the National Income, $3 is added to the National Expenses. You would NOT decrease the debt by $70 billion, you would increase the US spending by $105 billion.
The reason that religious institutions are tax exempt is that if they were to have their donations taxed, then they would be forced to incorporate and start accepting political and private sponsors; it would be a bad day if we saw billboards on the highway that said such things as ''the catholic church supports mitt Romney as the chosen presidential candidate under god'' or the Methodist church: brought to you by coca cola''. And we must not forget that a big chunk of churches finances go directly to charity and if we were to tae away a percentage of their income then you would see a lot of religious-based charities go bankrupt, leaving people in third-world countries to starve. It makes me sad to see people energetically supporting neutrality of religion in politics; but when things don't go in their benefit, they turn sides completely.