Why are religious organizations tax exempt?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", if religions don't pay taxes aren't taxpayers footing the bill for them? Taxes pay for municipal services which they enjoy but at my expense. I don't see anything in the first amendment that allows them a free ride at taxpayer expense.

Update:

To Gumby : police , sanitation, fire department, school taxes. Everything I enjoy and pay for which they dont pay for.

Update 2:

To blessedrobert. Then let tose people pay the bills for their respective religious organizations. Why should non belivers foot the bill for them.

Update 3:

The church owns ts own fleet of jets, cars, the most extensive collection of art, over 20 % of the European stock market yet the parrish where I live is nearly broke. Maybe they should share their wealth. I wish I had a vow of poverty like they do. Maybe then I could send my kids to college, have more food to eat, live in a good area.

Update 4:

I guess gumby never heard of property taxes which covers police, fire and sanitation. Im in New York and thats they it is here. I have no kids in school yet I get a school tax bill every year. This year it $ 5,800. Last year $4,100. Havent had a kid in school fo 10 years.

Update 5:

Gumby, also, " including garbage, sewer and water" these are municiple services. Utilities are gas and electric .

Update 6:

By the way I said religions, I didn't single out the Church. There are the temples, mosques, synagogues, yoga retreats, and basement places of worship. Nearly every home in an area of New York known as Kriyas Joel has a synagogue in the house and is partially taxed exempt. Why should I have to pick up the slack for these groups. They don’t contribute back to the community as a whole. The only time I've seen this was when I was a kid in Brooklyn NY and there were after school activities for all the kids regardless of their religious beliefs. You dont see this kind of open acceptance any more.

Update 7:

Kærlighed er et verbum. I gave you a thumbs up. I believe a good answer for or against what I believe gets a rating. I never report abuse unless it's overly offensive or derogatory.

Update 8:

By the way Gumby, I gave you a thumbs up to. I like a good intelligent discussion.

15 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the old days, they were tax exempt because of the social services they provided at a time when government didn't (like feeding the homeless, or running orphanages). Now it is just politics - no politician wants to end it because no politician wants legions of Christians pissed off at them.

    @Gumby below: The money citizens donate to churches they get a tax deduction on. Those citizens get money back on the taxes that would otherwise go to support police, schools...

  • 1 decade ago

    I looked this up once and was suprised to find that not all can be non profit, they must abide by very specific guidelines to keep their status and Prove it. One such of many guidelines is community contributions/assistance - which also has specific guidelines too. Easier for organized Relgions that have clearly established themselves - but not easy for all.

    Either way, I see your point with some institutions. It depends on which one you are speaking of ;))

    But many provide services for battered women, homeless, meals, financial emergencies, counselling, toys for chilldren, assistance to pay for Elderly that cannot make ends meet, adult education (GED), Substance abuse/recovery programs just to name a few.

    These are areas where Taxes have been cut....and religious organizations have picked this up. And even that is getting bad - people are not donating, so less to give.

    Have you ever been homeless? If so - if you go to a church/temple/house of worship doorstep and are sincere - they will help you. They may not fly you around on a jet, but they will try if you show an effort or if you are clearly not a 5150 and need help. -LOL

    Ok - this is a BIG topic. I better stop, as there are many side to this and possibly a new section could be created for this -lol

    Added later** But I see your point - especially with TV Evangalism - Ehee GADS

    Added laterer** Antonio (below me) interesting arguement and thought provoking. You lose me with the Satan word but good point. (OK an I going to get deleted now?

    Am I still here? hmmm - ha! What the ****

  • gumby
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    What municipal services do taxes pay for which the churches are enjoying?

    Why on earth should a church pay school taxes? Churches don't have children.

    And I would bet statistically those that use those municipalities don't pay taxes either. Look at the neighborhoods the cops are going into the most. Do you think those are full of taxpayers? Or are they getting a full refund?

    Beyond that, sanitation isn't paid for by taxes. Churches still have to pay utilities including garbage, sewer and water.

    Even if the cops are called to a church those cops are assisting citizens. Don't those citizens pay taxes?

    Really your argument is rather weak. There are plenty of arguments for taxing religion but municipalities isn't one of them. Firemen don't check to see if someone has paid their taxes before they rescue them out of a burning building.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because it's satan's way to corrupt all churches from the inside. He tells them that in order to remain tax-exempt all they have to do is obey the rules of the IRS. The churches accept and, as long as the rules of the IRS are obeyed, they cannot preach the whole truth.

    The rules of the IRS limit what churches can preach and if a church leader wants to maintain his tax-exempt status, he simply has to obey. If he disobeys the rules of the IRS (which in reality are the rules of the vatican), the IRS will come and will shut the pastor's business down. As long as the pastor keeps the IRS happy, he can enjoy his tax-exempt status.

    The jesuits infiltrated all churches that needed to be infiltrated (like the protestant churches) and they're the ones that set all this up. Any new pastor that arrives at a church today finds everything ready and "well managed" and doesn't have to change anything in that church because everything is already set up for him. He doesn't know that everything is set up according to the vatican.

    What's that trick of satan called? It's called the incorporation of the churches.

    Imagine our Lord asking the Ceasar for permission to preach.

    To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory for ever and ever. Jesus is Lord.

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  • 4 years ago

    100% Yes! Furthermore, they should have complete disclosure on their earnings. They are supposed to be working for the public good. Spreading the word of God. Saving lives. Sharing good will around the world. Taking care of the sick and homeless. How in the hell can they afford the buildings they call churches! Give me a break. 70% of the worlds population starving and the Catholics own a damn city! Evangelic preachers get rich! Someone end this nightmare! The Church is a predator, feeding on the innocent and ignorant. Making false promises, giving back nothing, and expanding their own base of power and control throughout the world. WAKE UP!

  • 1 decade ago

    This goes back to the ancient law of trusts in the 1600's where a person could give a gift for certain purposes without incurring a taxable transaction. Those purposes are generally, religious, science and education, charity.

    If we revoked the religious exemption then people would turn around and attack science and education exemptions. Seeing as significant portions of funding are now for science and education, that would be a dangerous situation that we have shied away from.

  • 1 decade ago

    See, this is exactly why churches ask for so many donations. In the end, even church is a business. You don't know how many times I've seen Christian preachers on television advertise, "You get a FREE book about our Lord, Christ Jesus. All you have to do is call the number you see on the bottom of the screen and *donate* $19.95, and you'll get a FREE book!" Hm... a "free" book where you *donate* $19.95 to receive it? I'll pass.

  • 1 decade ago

    the forefather

    created our constitution and bill of rights..and laws of this land..right out of the bible as well right out of jesus days during the roman empire.

    in the original jewish wisdom.laws.

    the people pay the CHURCH..with their tithes.

    so that..the priest have more time to learn

    and preach.

    the church DUTY is care for the poor.

    that the government don't DO.

    then in lydon johnson days a democrat

    past a law..that preacher can't talk about politics.

    which violate freedom of speech.

    all church and ministries..the money they get

    GOES to charity.

    like a non profit organizagtion like

    red cross, salvation army, easter seal

    and so on.

    church is a non profit business.

    does great varity of charity works.

    my advice

    leave them alone.

    pick on congress who give themselve a pay raise.

  • 1 decade ago

    Every 503(c) non profit organization is exempt from those taxes. It's not a matter of giving religious organizations something extra, it's that they qualify as a non profit charity under the law.

  • 1 decade ago

    Churches, not religions are tax exempt because they are not for profit organizations. Just like any other non profit or not for profit organization. All of their money goes either for the upkeep of their church building and supplies used in worship, or is given away to various other charities that do good for others.

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