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The assault on religious tax exemption begins

DCblogger's picture

As I predicted, and documented, the assault on tax exemption for church property has begun:
Ernie Chambers' bill to end property tax exemption for religious groups gets a hearing

Property taxes paid by religious groups could ease the burden on other taxpayers, as well as reduce the need for state aid to schools and other local subdivisions.

“I believe everybody should pay their fair share, including religious organizations,” Chambers said.

How much revenue the bill would generate for local governments and how it might affect state aid could not be determined, however.

As I said before, a tax on church property (as distinct from commercial enterprises owned by churches) would effectively deprive most Americans the opportunity to worship at the church of their choice. Very few churches could afford property taxes. Churches are the last institution controlled by the middle class. Make no mistake, this is a power grab.

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illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

Whenever I see a church, I see a physical focal point for dogmatic oppression, not a tool of empowerment for the middle class. Religious organisations take public land and turn it into private property. They should pay a tax for doing so like anyone else. Preferential treatment by the government for religious institutions should be abolished in every form.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

You don't see an organization that offers its meeting room for free to everyone from Alcoholics Anonymous to the local Single Payer group? You don't see a building that offers its sanctuary to the local violin teacher for student recitals? You don't see a building that rents it kitchen for a low price to the local Italian cooking club? Or offer English as a Second Language and Citizenship training for a low price to the local immigrant population? You don't see a building that offers showers to homeless people? Or food bank? You are not looking very carefully. Churches are not what the cable harpies show us, churches are what is happening in our communities.

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

With no strings attached? The good deeds done do not outweigh the evils committed by organised religion. Everything you mentioned can be achieved via different venues - and should be.

As an aside, I don't have cable so I have no idea which harpies you refer to. I do know that a community is better off when it's activists are free from the shackles of religious indoctrination.

My original opinion still stands, however: when a private organisation or person takes land out of the public sphere, it should be taxed to make up for the loss. This includes churches because despite any public service they may provide, at their root they are private organisations with an agenda. That some people place more trust in that agenda than I do should be irrelevant.