Now off the top of my head I do not know how many churches around the world actually have tax exemption, but I know in Canada a major selling point to congregants to give to churches is the “blessed” tax receipt at the year end.
What if all governments followed suit with Italy: http://rt.com/news/italy-church-tax-exemption-339/ and all the monies taken up in the taxing of the religious were directed towards such things as social programs, health care, and education… instead of lottery monies being used (or other sin taxes for social safety nets) it was the blessing tax?
How many churches would close their doors? Better question, how many neighbourhoods would miss those churches?
Can the governments do in a reformation, what the Holy Spirit has been unable to do and blow through a cleansing rejuvenation by truly seperating us from the state? (and while we’re at it, let us remove marriage powers under the power of the state from Clerics, and have clerics simply bless those civil marriages for members of their own congregations– but that may be another topic).
As we move into 2013, let me know what you think of this idea of non-profit or tax exempt status being removed from religious institutions and what would happen to the landscape of Canada if we were to follow Italy.
- Italy starts taxing Catholic Church – when will the US? (dvorak.org)
- Freedom From Religion Foundation sues IRS over 990 Form (yubanet.com)
- Atheist group files lawsuit over church tax status (jsonline.com)
- FFRF is Suing the IRS, Claiming That It Gives Preferential Treatment to Religious Groups (patheos.com)
- Can the Westboro Baptist Church (the Funeral Picketers) Be Stripped of Their Tax-Exempt Status Because of Their Views? (volokh.com)
- Italian Catholic Church to pay property tax from next year (secularnewsdaily.com)
- Should religious organisations pay taxes? (vanguardngr.com)
- Atheist Group Files Lawsuit over Church Tax Status (wsaw.com)