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Old November 24th, 2013, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Madison judge strikes down law that gives clergy tax free housing

http://host.madison.com/news/local/j...5ad0ed39d.html

Whoa. That's pretty wild.

I definitely agree with it. It doesn't really make sense to me, to give special tax privileges to members of the clergy.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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Well, this will piss off Rev. Jess Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton!
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Old November 24th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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Haha
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Old November 24th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Well, this will piss off Rev. Jess Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton!
They are as much Rev. as Sova is a Christian
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikesova View Post
http://host.madison.com/news/local/j...5ad0ed39d.html

Whoa. That's pretty wild.

I definitely agree with it. It doesn't really make sense to me, to give special tax privileges to members of the clergy.
Hm..... I'm not sure what to think about this.

I want to play the "more people complaining about Christians' card, but don't think it really fits completely.

If the church is a 503c, then it's a corporation of the government. The pastor is the acting leader of the church and provides many services to the community, at no extra cost, like hospital visits and grief counseling. If the government wants to start being picky about housing allowances (which I agree can get a bit out of control) they should also allow pastors to start being compensated, from the government, for such services.

I think the passing of this law is ill timed as most churches (except the mega ones mentioned in the article) are struggling and the extra burden placed on the pastor/church will ultimately have an impact on the churches ability to serve the community. That means the government will have to pick up the slack from churches that primarily feed and shelter the homeless and do other community service programs like that.

I also call BS on the claims that they aren't attacking Churches with this. "We've tried to keep it under the radar" seems like a pretty shady thing to do if your trying to be open about everything. The only reason you do something like that is because you know it will make a majority of people unhappy, that majority being pastors who, for the most part, don't get paid nearly enough for what they provide the community. It's far to specific to not be an attack of some sort.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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Religion is a hobby and should be taxed like every other hobby.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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If the church is a 503c, then it's a corporation of the government. The pastor is the acting leader of the church and provides many services to the community, at no extra cost, like hospital visits and grief counseling. If the government wants to start being picky about housing allowances (which I agree can get a bit out of control) they should also allow pastors to start being compensated, from the government, for such services.
Not quite accurate - a 501(c)(3) is a private corporation exempt from taxes, and able to receive tax-deductible donations from the public. An employee, minister, etc of a 501(c)(3) is not a government employee.

The "parsonage allowance" as it is sometimes called is a throw back to a time where many ministers lived on the same or an adjacent piece of property to the church. Under federal tax rules, providing housing to an employee can be taxable to the employee. The parsonage exemption allowed ministers to live in church-provided housing without recognizing additional income (similar to the basic housing provided to US military members). A parsonage allowance
passes that same benefit along to ministers who do not live in church-owned parsonages.

That said, it provides a huge tax benefit to ministers. While they have to pay both the employee and employer portions of the FICA taxes, they pay no income tax on that portion of their earnings PLUS get to deduct the normal tax-home expenses like property taxes and mortgage interest.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Religion is a hobby and should be taxed like every other hobby.
That's funny right there. Mostly because it couldn't be farther from the truth. Religion is a life style change. If it were a hobby most people wouldn't bother putting in the time or money they do for it.

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Not quite accurate - a 501(c)(3) is a private corporation exempt from taxes, and able to receive tax-deductible donations from the public. An employee, minister, etc of a 501(c)(3) is not a government employee.

The "parsonage allowance" as it is sometimes called is a throw back to a time where many ministers lived on the same or an adjacent piece of property to the church. Under federal tax rules, providing housing to an employee can be taxable to the employee. The parsonage exemption allowed ministers to live in church-provided housing without recognizing additional income (similar to the basic housing provided to US military members). A parsonage allowance
passes that same benefit along to ministers who do not live in church-owned parsonages.

That said, it provides a huge tax benefit to ministers. While they have to pay both the employee and employer portions of the FICA taxes, they pay no income tax on that portion of their earnings PLUS get to deduct the normal tax-home expenses like property taxes and mortgage interest.
Thanks for Clarifying. So what this bill is saying is that pastors/churches are going to have to pay taxes on the parsonage allowance now? Meaning, if they didn't cheat the system and 'double dip', they will be out even more money. Sounds like a bigger burden to most struggling pastors/churches.

<puts tin foil hat on> Insert 'Government is picking on religous groups' comment here. It's really a shame. Churches do alot of work to help people. IMO, one of the few bodies of people who do anything to meet the needs of those in need, local and abroad. I give it ten years before the government has it's hands completely in all church business in the name of 'fairness'.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #9
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That's funny right there. Mostly because it couldn't be farther from the truth. Religion is a life style change. If it were a hobby most people wouldn't bother putting in the time or money they do for it.
Um no, it's a hobby. People get a little crazy about it and defend it as more than that but at the end of the day, it's a hobby.

hobby
ˈhäbē/Submit
noun
1.
an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Um no, it's a hobby. People get a little crazy about it and defend it as more than that but at the end of the day, it's a hobby.

hobby
ˈhäbē/Submit
noun
1.
an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
I'm pretty sure those that have been martyred for their 'hobby' didn't find pleasure in their torture.

I could understand thinking that if you didn't completely understand why people go to church that are genuine in thier faith. If It were a hobby, I wouldn't be partaking in it. Too much work. It's a theology, not a hobby.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #11
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<puts tin foil hat on> Insert 'Government is picking on religous groups' comment here. It's really a shame. Churches do alot of work to help people. IMO, one of the few bodies of people who do anything to meet the needs of those in need, local and abroad. I give it ten years before the government has it's hands completely in all church business in the name of 'fairness'.
This winter when it's really, really cold outside, there will be hundreds if not thousands of heated churches in this state large enough to accommodate hundreds of people that will be completely empty while homeless people freeze to death on the streets. Think hard about that, then tell me how now that you have this information, you're going to make it your personal mission to make sure nobody ends up cold this winter because there is absolutely no shortage of warm buildings sitting empty 85% of the week for these people to go to stay warm. Consider me your messenger, I've spoken, now get to work.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #12
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I'm pretty sure those that have been martyred for their 'hobby' didn't find pleasure in their torture.

I could understand thinking that if you didn't completely understand why people go to church that are genuine in thier faith. If It were a hobby, I wouldn't be partaking in it. Too much work. It's a theology, not a hobby.
It's a hobby, and in the case of skydiving, they didn't see the end coming when they jumped and didn't find pleasure in their torture either but it's doesn't validate their faith in their chute anymore than your faith in your hobby.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #13
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It's a hobby, and in the case of skydiving, they didn't see the end coming when they jumped and didn't find pleasure in their torture either but it's doesn't validate their faith in their chute anymore than your faith in your hobby.
Wrong.... Unless they are unconscious, they see the end coming... Very very quickly.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 03:39 PM   #14
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Wrong.... Unless they are unconscious, they see the end coming... Very very quickly.
I read once that most people die of a heart attack before hitting the ground
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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #15
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I've read that 100% of people born will die.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #16
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I've read that 100% of people born will die.
I read this also but I don't remember the source.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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God is not a hobby. To say such a thing simply implies that you do not understands, therefor you shall make fun....sad really
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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #18
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God is not a hobby. To say such a thing simply implies that you do not understands, therefor you shall make fun....sad really
Lifestyle?
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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #19
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God is not a hobby. To say such a thing simply implies that you do not understands, therefor you shall make fun....sad really
If millions of people thought the hobbit in the lord of the rings was real and I said it was just a story, would I has sad also?
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Old November 25th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #20
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It's not my fault you cannot see The Lord. Your comparison sucks btw...I'm sure you thought it was witty though
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