Churches are by and large a tax shelter for many. Some rake in more money than large companies do. Rich people buy land and build churches on them for their little family or community, and donate the church to a church organization. Now guess what? They'll donate large sums of money for 'church vacations', indoor basketball courts, The church will build houses even to let their 'members' AKA Family members stay in!!
If a church is insisting on getting into the political playing field, then the church should be taxed. It is a violation of the Separation of Church and State. This should apply not only to churches, but all religious institutions as well. This would set an example, in my opinion, that if you wish, as a church to get into politics, you pay a tax. I would also consider what they would have owed in past years as fair game as well.
When a church pays taxes it sets the example to the follower that they should also pay taxes on time .The taxes exemptions law was made a long time ago it is totally wrong when a church receives lots of donations and can sustain itself easily even after paying taxes.
Just because some particular group, believes in an institution, it is in no way possible that the group should be exempted from any obligations, that other institutions have to follow. All religions, and the absence of an religion should be respected equally by the government. Thank you . . .
2. Huge churches don’t need/ the money use it wrong etc.
• Only 3% to 10% of tax emptions used for charity
• In addition to the lack of transparency, it is vital to consider whether any multi-billion dollar operation, religious or otherwise, should enjoy sweeping tax exemptions on their assets or actually needs it. What exactly does the tax exemption promote if an organization already has more than enough money to run its activities from individual contributions?
Major example: Some church leaders have even managed to use the church to hide their assets. For instance, Rev. John Hagee reorganized his TV station (Global Evangelism Television) as a church (Grace Church of San Antonio Churches) to shelter those records, after the San AntonioExpress-News revealed his income exceeded $1 million in 2001. All of his assets, including an 8,000-or-so acre ranch, are now sheltered in the Cornerstone Church. In other words, Hagee hides his millions in assets in his church and escapes taxation on his own personal wealth and property.
I believe the purpose for making religions tax exempt was because they are or are suppose to be, non-profit organizations like charities. Though not all the money that comes into a churches funds goes to charity, the church it'self does have a large overhead. Though some things are donated to help churches, the building it'self cost money, utilities, staff, maintenance and supplies all add up. If the church prospers, more money may be needed for expansion due to a larger flock. Old churches need routine upgrades. Then one of the largest expenses may be the clergy themselves. For most clergy, this is their only job and they need money for food, shelter and some left over for when they too retire.
In the past, churches have been the keystone to any town. When a church was built, people wanted to move to the town because of what it brought. I am not talking about just the religion, churches tended to be multiple use buildings. During the week, they often doubled as a school. In those days, schools where hard to come-by especially for the poorer farmers who could not afford private school. In budding towns, many churches were also use for public matters such as town meeting. Because they brought so much to a community, it is no wonder that the government gave them tax exception to encourage churches to be built.
Granted, I am not naive enough not to notice how many religions have taken advantage of the tax-exempt status. How many hand carved marble statues does a church actually need, or should the clergy be housed in a palatial estate. Thing is, no matter how much good is intended, if there is money involved, some people will take advantage. Should obvious abuses to tax exemptions happen, they too should be required to pay back the ill-gotten gains with interest even if it causes the religion to become bankrupt.
Separation of church and state should be upheld. For the most part, this has only gone one way. That the government is not able to make laws that favor or deny any religion. It should go both ways. That a religious group should not be allowed to influence government decisions. Far too many religious organizations either hire lobbyists to influence public officials, some religious leaders have even taken public stance on political issues. There are even religiously run organizations that have their hands in all types of legal matters. e.g. the ACLJ. In my opinion, if an organization attempt to break the separation, they too should be legally prosecuted. They should be given a choice of either paying a stiff fine and backing off or risk their religious status and be forced to pay back all past taxes that were exempt.
I disagree because to rescind tax exemption for one denomination or religion is utterly unfair. If this is what @moneystacker meant by the question, then it highlights the bigger problem in secular Western thinking. If @moneystacker meant just Christian churches then it shows discrimination. People become so anti-Christianity that they become pro-non-Christianity.
It is like the child who has an argument with one parent then focuses their affections on the other parent