27 thoughts on “If churches paid taxes…”

  1. Yes, this extra cash would go right into politicians’ pockets and pension plans. And our smaller churches would close within a few years, taking away a great deal of essential community outreach (meals, and clothing and other support) for the homeless, the elderly and the handicapped.

    • No doubt the funds would be misspent just as the current gov funds are misspent but there are many secular charities that provide help to the needy without forcing them to hear a biased religious message.

      I am a fan for taxing churches but I don’t think we should just use that money to pay for food stamps. I would prefer for food stamp receivers to earn them through some sort of work program.

        • LOL!!! You must belong to the one true religion.

          Growing up the son of a Pentecostal minister, maybe my viewpoint is biased, but those churches do nothing without taking the opportunity to spread the “good” word. They are more concerned with making converts than they are with actually helping people.

  2. If we took their tax-exempt status, people would only give a fraction of that, and we would lose the biggest charities and helps to the downtrodden in the country. Believe it or not, very little in a church budget goes towards making a preacher rich…

  3. As most above stated or implied, the taxes not paid by churches are used towards more community needs than even local government can afford to give.
    Clothing, food, housing, other rent and utilities for programs like AA and other support groups that townships don’t often have.
    More often giving more than what little exemptions can *afford* them.

  4. OK, I gotta stir the pot. What about these a holes:
    Kenneth Copeland – Copeland Ministries
    Flies around in a $17.5 Jet, lives in a $6 million lakefront mansion with a 1,500 acre campus and a private airstrip. He and his wife make over $655,000 a year in salary alone. It’s not clear whether this includes speaking fees, book royalties, and “love offerings.”
    Creflo Dollar – World Changers Church International
    Drives a Rolls-Royce and lives in a Million dollar home in Atlanta, and a 2.5 million-dollar apartment in Manhattan. Dollar will not release his salary information.
    John Hagee – Cornerstone Church
    His last released salary was nearly $1 million per year (2004). Hagee does not release his earnings anymore.
    Charles Blake – West Angeles Church of God in Christ
    Owns a 10,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills (btw his congregation hails mostly from impoverished South Central LA)
    His year salary is $900,000 per year.
    Benny Hinn – Miracle Worker
    In 1997 he admitted to making between $500k & $1 million dollars per year
    Joel Osteen – Lakewood Church
    Stopped taking his $200,000 salary several years ago. Makes tens of millions off of his numerous books. Joel & family live in a $10.5 million – get this – 17,000 square foot mansion. Treasures in heaven people.
    Bishop Eddie Long – New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
    Long made over $3 million in a three year period from 1997 to 2000. He drives a Bentley, and lives in a 1.4 million dollar home on 20 acres. An investigation into his non profit showed he made more than $1 million dollars from them on top of his church income. No doubt some of that went toward his legal fees in 2011.
    Ed Young – Fellowship Church Dot Com
    Lives in a 10k square foot 1.5 million dollar home. He gets paid a cool $1 million dollars a year, plus a $240,000 parsonage allowance. That doesn’t count the royalties he makes off of his recent Sexperiment.
    Franklin Graham – Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
    In 2008 he reportedly made 1.2 million dollars. Your father should slap your face Franklin.
    Rick Warren – Saddleback Church
    Has made tens of millions off his book sales (it could be in the hundreds). However… Warrenhas made so much money that in 2005 he repaid all of his 25 years of salary to the church & stopped taking any new salary. He and his wife give away 91% of their income to charity. Rick is the only one doing it right – in my opinion.

    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paperbacktheology/2012/01/fleecing-the-flock-a-snapshot-of-americas-richest-pastors.html#ixzz3C1LDtGl9

    • Thanks Paul, I’m glad for your input. Also the Catholic church, no doubt some of their income has gone to legal fees recently.

    • So? You list 10 preachers–what about the thousands of others that make a pittance compared to these preachers? And are these preachers blackmailing their churches to get those kinds of salaries? If not, then who is responsible for those salaries: those making it or those willing to pay it?

      Also, everyone needs to remember: the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Money is NOT the root of all evil. One can be rich and still be a Christian.

        • Probably what He says about all of us: Repent you sinners.

          And once we (or they) have honestly asked for forgiveness: your sins are forgiven. Now go and sin no more.

          As Ray says, it is not easy acting as a Christian. And none of us really come close to being perfect.

  5. For me this comes down to forced philanthropy vs. actual philanthropy. Forced philanthropy is of course not philanthropy at all but taxation. Kind of the point I know. Now take your personal tax exemptions that you get, and everyone gets. Let’s take that away from everyone and pay for the same thing. Same arguments ensue. Does the government make better decisions with your money than you? I think we all agree that we do not agree with at least one place the government spends money.
    Now going back to the $83 billion. 2% of the national expenditures (3.5 Trillion estimate). So it can be funded if we wanted it to be, but our politicians don’t want to. More serious problem is the poor will always be with us. If we feed clothe and house all in need they will find new ways of being poor. I know this sounds harsh, but how much are we throwing at this already and we still need 2% of our national budget to fix it… for a day, then we would have more people with their hands out. The fact that they are in need is a symptom and not the root cause. Government often treats symptoms rather than the root cause. Now go ahead and call me a troll and take apart my arguments. I can take it.

    • “Government often treats symptoms rather than the root cause.”

      It’s been said that the best welfare program is a job.

      Assuming agreement can be made on that statement, the question is where or how to create jobs. With tax incentives to move jobs overseas, little to no tariffs for imported goods and crappy trade policies along our borders, how does a country remedy this situation? Can one solution be taking away the tax incentives to move jobs out and creating tax incentives to move factories back here in the States? Well, such a bill was presented and was blocked by a particular party.

      So you tell me, do you feel our government should work towards bettering situations for creating work here or do you feel it’s more important to help corporations make more money by providing work overseas?

      • LMAO. Judging from the ratings, it seems there are people who hate their country so much they would prefer fascism to what they have now. Now that’s true conservative values! Not to mention they don’t even have the huevos to answer my question.

  6. All that (above) from “Not sure how accurate this is ..”?

    It says something, not too sure exactly what.

    Lot of venting out there. Kinda think, just my opinion, maybe direct it to your local politician might be a better forum.

  7. Imagine if corporations had to pay taxes based on their real earnings, and not just on the amount they didn’t stash overseas.

  8. Corporations already pay taxes on their revenue overseas. They pay taxes at rates those respective countries require. Some more, many less than here. It’s essentially double taxation by taxing that overseas revenue here as well as there.

    Imagine how much better the US economy would be doing if individuals and corporations were taxed at a more reasonable rate. Heck, if the Feds taxed corporations at a rate that was more reasonable, you wouldn’t have so many of them moving their headquarters to other countries.

    “Capital goes where it’s welcome and stays where it’s well treated.” –Walter B. Wriston

    • It’s fine that they pay taxes where they manufacture, but they used to pay tariffs to sell their products here, which led foreign companies to build factories here to avoid the large tariffs. Tariffs are good for American business, which in turn is good for American workers. Reagan changed all that when he decided to crap on the American worker and allow businesses to rule the country.

  9. Since the picture indicates “IRS” the focus seems to not be on property taxes. If that is the case, donations or gifts should not be considered income, something that would significantly reduce the amount owed.

  10. Churches are organizations that are made up of people. I assume most of those people are taxpayers, so taxing churches would be a form of double taxation. But let’s not stop at churches. Let’s tax other organizations. Let’s tax the Red Cross, the 4H, all the various cancer, heart, diabetes and other organizations. Let’s tax Masons, the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce.

    My second argument, and it’s already happening, is the scrutiny from the IRS of churches. Sure, go ahead and argue that there are some, like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Revered Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, that are all about politics and not about being a church. And on the conservative side, there is the same thing. Churches, government and taxes should not be involved with each other.

    We should have a flat tax or a national sales tax. The IRS should be abolished.

    • You make some interesting points. Not that I agree with you wholly, but interesting. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  11. How about we work on the Welfare Fraud, so much money going to those who won’t work, because we pay them not to.
    Welfare, food stamps, etc. are there to give a hand to those in need, many truly need that help, millions do not.

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