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Should churches be tax exempt?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Jan 21, 2020.

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Should churches be tax exempt?

  1. Churches should always be tax exempt

    6 vote(s)
    17.1%
  2. Churches should never be tax exempt

    13 vote(s)
    37.1%
  3. It depends on <your reasoning>

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. Churches should be taxed if they engage in commercial activities

    10 vote(s)
    28.6%
  5. Churches should be taxed if they engage in political activities

    9 vote(s)
    25.7%
  6. Churches should be not taxed if they are a cult

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Some churches should be taxed, some should not

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Some taxes should apply to all churches

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  9. Some taxes should apply to some churches

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Churches should not pay tax if they meet <insert your > criteria

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  11. Not if they are state churches

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  12. Only state churches should pay tax

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. Only some church activities should be taxed

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  14. Only churches from specific religions should be taxed

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. Only if they are a cult should they be taxed

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  16. Charitable activities should be tax exempt

    16 vote(s)
    45.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Should churches be tax exempt? Does your answer depend on which church we are talking about?

    Does your answer depend on the commercial or political activity that a church engages in?
     
  2. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Nope. Let community centers that actually teach useful skills be tax exempt.
     
  3. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    So I really messed up the wording of the poll and I'm sorry. It's very confusing. Can a moderator help me?

    I'd like to change the options (starting with the first) -
    • Churches should always be tax exempt
    • Churches should never be tax exempt
    • ~no change~
    • Churches should be taxed if they engage in commercial activity
    • Churches should be taxed if they engage in political activity
    • Churches should not be taxed if they are a cult
    • ~no other changes~
    Moderator Action: Done. ~ Arakhor
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2020
  4. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I voted always no, but believe they should get a lot of leeway for exemptions for charity work.
    (unless it's discriminatory)
     
    cardgame, TheMeInTeam and hobbsyoyo like this.
  5. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    If the church is of some use for the community, for instance with charitable work, helping poor people, drug addicts, etc... which saves money to the administration it is reasonable to exempt it in some degree, otherwise, of course not.
     
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  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I added it as a polling option.

    I guess the trick is how we define charitable work. I believe the LDS (Mormon) Church runs a lot of commercial businesses but they structure themselves so they are a charity and thus don't pay taxes on their business ventures.
     
  7. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    The thing is to pay its share somehow. So they should pay (Business benefits-charity value)*(tax rate)

    The difficult part being to determine "chariry value"
     
    hobbsyoyo likes this.
  8. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Per Metalhead:
     
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  9. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Giving churches tax breaks is an archaic law. Given what we know now about religiosity of a society (low religiosity is correlated with higher wealth, lower crime and many other positive outcomes whereas high religiosity is correlated w/ poverty & criminality) it makes sense to not encourage them. Giving churches tax breaks is basically saying you want a society full of ignorance & superstition. How about lets do the opposite and give tax breaks for all educational businesses instead.
     
  10. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Sure....
     
  11. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    And, rah, we're back to the argument being made for me. It's inherently discriminatory. It's the foundation of the argument which does not stand without its discreet, yet firm, footing.
     
  12. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    If Cartman from South Park were a real person he'd make the ideal pastor. Do nothing but preach & tell people to "respect his authoritay" and the pass out a collection plate"
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    You posted someone else's verbiage as your entire post and you complain about your argument being made for you?

    I was fond of his Christian Rock band too! :lol:
     
  14. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Those communities are the ones that would benefit most to have actual bushiness in their community rather than predatory part-fools-from-their-$-centers.

    Just because poor people crave religion doesn't mean it's good for them, they crave cigarettes, booze & junk food too.

    It's a bit of a chicken & egg scenario, you can't prove religion keeps people down you can only show that where there's poverty there's religion.
     
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  15. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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  16. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Well man, sure. Religion is found where it's found. It's found much more in proximity to suffering. The sick, the dying, the hungry, the poor. Less religion getting that rush after seeing a great new action flick. Less religion putting on your favorite slippers. Wonder why?

    I like this exchange. We both make the same argument. :lol:
     
  17. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    They should have access to the same exemptions as non-profits and such, provided they engage in legitimate activities within that purview. If they stray, they get penalized and they must pay taxes -- just like any other business that tries to game the system.

    So my answer is "it depends," mainly because there are a lot of churches that just do service and religious work and there's not much of a reason for them to pay taxes. There are other churches almost solely dedicated to their public work, and the same applies. But then you have churches with heavy tithing (masked as donations and fundraisers), churches that buy up land, churches that establish public groups and lobbying teams... they should pay for that.
     
    PhroX likes this.
  18. Truthy

    Truthy Idle

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    You said given what we “know”, but then you just mentioned some correlations as if it’s obvious from that religion causes poverty/crime and secularism causes all the good things. Maybe religion supplies support networks for people who are struggling. Maybe secularism is a good way to signal status and acceptance of modernity, like reading the Economist.
     
  19. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    What do you all think of politicking from the pulpit? I grew up in various Southern Baptist churches and while I do not recall being told explicitly who to vote for, with one of them the pastor came as close to that as he could without naming names. That sort of activity has picked up quite a lot and the right screamed bloody murder when the IRS began investigating churches for breaking the 'no politics' rules. Trump has been rolling those rules back and directed the IRS to not investigate those churches because of course he did.
     
    yung.carl.jung likes this.
  20. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    God money don't want everything he wants it all.

    ;)
     

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