Church Tax Exemption

Ninelong
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Church Tax Exemption

Greetings, heathens and faithful alike.

My comrade and I are in the process of creating a position paper for the abolition on the current policy of Church Tax exemption. Our defenses thus far are 1. The church does not rightly fit the definition of a "public institution", which merits a yes to the following:

-what amount of control does the state have in the governance of the institution
-what amount of state funding is used to support the institution's activities
-what amount of the institution's property is owned by the state
-does the institution have tax-free status
-is there a contract between the state and the institution

2. Exemption eventuates in a counter-utilitarian result; since only a small portion of church funds are used for charity, taxation would likely be more beneficial for the people.

3. The grounds for their exemption are undeveloped, if not absurd.

Any constructive comments will be appreciated, so long as they contribute to the progress of our endeavor.Smiling


averyv
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no one said it was a public

no one said it was a public institution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501%28c%29#501.28c.29.283.29

they are non-profit organizations. under the 'religious' aspect, atm, but could easily be billed under 'charitable'. they must follow the same guidelines as any other non-profit organization, and may lose their tax exempt status by violating those terms as well.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Brian37
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In America at least there is

In America at least there is supposed to be a "No taxation without representation". I really don't think the founders ever intened on leagel tax code so extensive it takes 1 million years simply to read, much less understand.

Goverment has taken the attitude, "Well, as long as we make an excuse for it, we can do it." The Boston Tea party was a rebellion against this attitude that govenrment could just 'Charge what they wanted".

Our tax code has set up government to be used as a weapon against it's own citizens. It is intrusive and is a domestic spy program. It can and often has arbitraraly turned honest citizens into criminals for no other reason than that they are not tax lawyers.

What government needs to do is get rid of this beurocracy and paperwork and switch to one tax, a concumption tax with no exemptions. Every person has to buy things to survive. Government can get it's cut based on that. Be it toilet paper or house, one one time tax each time you buy something. The transaction would be like paying cash. It is done and over with at the moment the transaction is complete and maintains the privacy of the buyer.

No one should have to be a lawyer to save money or defend what they own. The government uses tax code as an exuse to pilpher you wallet. Yes, it does take money to run government. But it shouldnt come at the cost of invading the privacy of citizens by making it possible to arrest them or confiscate their property.

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averyv
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Quote:In America at least

Quote:
In America at least there is supposed to be a "No taxation without representation". I really don't think the founders ever intened on leagel tax code so extensive it takes 1 million years simply to read, much less understand.

while this is a vaguely interesting opinion, im a little lost as to how it is remotely relevant.

however, while we're totally derailing, im not sure why everyone is so concerned with what the founders wanted. im far more concerned with something that works than trying to discern the meanings of a dead man's intention.

Quote:
Goverment has taken the attitude, "Well, as long as we make an excuse for it, we can do it." The Boston Tea party was a rebellion against this attitude that govenrment could just 'Charge what they wanted".

government is the people. if it is otherwise, government should be destroyed. then these problems go away much more cleanly.

i think that the machine of government tends to eat a little much, roll a little too quickly, and starts picking up responsibilities (and therefore costs) far beyond the need of a truly democratic government. excessive federal taxes reflect this.

Quote:
Our tax code has set up government to be used as a weapon against it's own citizens. It is intrusive and is a domestic spy program. It can and often has arbitraraly turned honest citizens into criminals for no other reason than that they are not tax lawyers.

i dont understand this. is it intrusive because of the receipts you have to give as proof of the exemptions?

Quote:
What government needs to do is get rid of this beurocracy and paperwork and switch to one tax, a concumption tax with no exemptions. Every person has to buy things to survive. Government can get it's cut based on that. Be it toilet paper or house, one one time tax each time you buy something. The transaction would be like paying cash. It is done and over with at the moment the transaction is complete and maintains the privacy of the buyer.

what people need to do is realize that we are the government, and taxes are just formal ways to fund the things we as a society value.

also, what you have described is a regressive tax, as the percentage of disposable income required to pay the tax by someone who makes $12,000/yr is vastly higher than someone who makes $300,000/year. i personally do not think that the only tax in a public structure should be regressive. i was once very much in favor of a similar scenario, but its pitfalls are much greater than its allure.

Quote:
No one should have to be a lawyer to save money or defend what they own. The government uses tax code as an exuse to pilpher you wallet. Yes, it does take money to run government. But it shouldnt come at the cost of invading the privacy of citizens by making it possible to arrest them or confiscate their property.

so then what is the penalty for not paying? if a law is not followed, arrest is a possibility. this is so in every area of our law, no? can government invoke iminent domain for tax evasion? i was unaware of this, but if it is true, that is kind of weird. do you have a source to show this? are you simply speaking about fines when youre talking about confiscating property?

to clarify, im not a fan of the current tax system, but see it as a necessary evil given the ridiculous federalist nationstate we are a part of. in other words, tax law is an unfortunate offshoot to attempting to gather the hearts and minds (and wallets) of a continent of 300,000,000 people. pretty much however you slice it, its going to be highly convoluted.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


Zhwazi
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I actually support church

I actually support church tax exemption. I want as many groups as possible to be paying as little taxes as possible. Less taxes means less money going towards pissing off muslims worldwide to combat an idea.

averyv wrote:
government is the people.

Right. Including 1940s jewish people in Germany.

Jews = People = Government
Government killed Jews
Thus, the Jews committed suicide.


averyv
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Quote:Right. Including 1940s

Quote:
Right. Including 1940s jewish people in Germany.

Jews = People = Government
Government killed Jews
Thus, the Jews committed suicide.

this thread is all about the off topic. what is your point? or are you jsut saying? im confused...

also, the jews werent the whole of the people, so they didnt exactly commit 'suicide'. 'suicided by proxy' perhaps? sociecided, maybe? how about fascicided, instituticided, or the more commonly perferred, genocided.

if this is some arbitrary point to say that government can get out of hand and overtake the will of the people, i think this is obviously true. perhaps if guns had not been under such heavy control in nazi germany someone could have fought back from the inside. but, i could have missed your point entirely. please, explain.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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The only beef I might have

The only beef I might have with it is if they practice discrimination or do something like read the bible for food. That or they say they want to help people in third world countries, but what they really mean is they want to send them some shitty toilet paper.


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Yeah, shitty toilet paper

Yeah, shitty toilet paper like the Bible!


averyv
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then create a watchdog

then create a watchdog group, which, of course, you have here. private institution should watch private institution, and that is fine, and good, even.

'practice discrimination'? this is pretty general. could you clarify?

what do you mean to 'read the bible for food'? is food the end result? for people who need it? sounds fair game to me. if you mean read the bible to people in place of resource effort or aid, i agree. that should not be grounds for tax write-offs. on the other hand, reading the bible to people you are helping, whatevs like that, should not be grounds for disallowing them the ability to be a non-profit organization. my opinion. im sure a 'slippery slope' case could be made to either side.

shitty toilet paper in large quantities can be quite a helpful thing. perhaps, even, for aid workers. and, perhaps, in some instances gathering a quantity of it might be quite a worthwhile effort. work within means, i suppose, and to the level of your understanding. im sure more than one conglomerate aid package, sent through publicly agreed upon chanels, was contributed to by a church organization. contents being canned goods, shitty toilet paper, and whatever other resources.

and to mattshizzle, i agree wholeheartedly that the dissimination of bibles,whatever their end use, should not be grounds for tax exemptions. i also happen to believe that it should not be disallowed. that was very astute of you to point out.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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practice - the action or

practice - the action or process of performing or doing something

discrimination - treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

Yes, I am a smart ass, an asshole, and a dick. Note: I am not a bastard, a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.

read the bible for food = you must read the bible to get help/if you refuse to read the bible you don't get food.

I know I would be a little pissed off if the only way I can get any help is if I go listen to some missionary shove his or her religion down my throat when I already had one or didn't want one. I would go but only because it is listen or die.

Quote:
shitty toilet paper in large quantities can be quite a helpful thing

People have a few solutions to a lack of toilet paper. One you don't use it, two you use a leaf, three you pick one hand to eat with and one hand not to eat with. I'd think eating would be more important then cleaning up afterwards, but that’s just my opinion.

BTW when I talked about them saying one thing and doing another I was talking about false advertising to the people donating.


averyv
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Quote:practice - the action

Quote:
practice - the action or process of performing or doing something

discrimination - treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

so, if they only help poor people, thats descrimination on class right? rich people are people too, voidrest.

or, how about if they end up only helping predominantly black areas? this is descrimination based on race, of course.

Quote:
read the bible for food = you must read the bible to get help/if you refuse to read the bible you don't get food

im guessing you just made this practice up. if you didnt, id love to see some documentation on it.

Quote:
People have a few solutions to a lack of toilet paper. One you don't use it, two you use a leaf, three you pick one hand to eat with and one hand not to eat with. I'd think eating would be more important then cleaning up afterwards, but that’s just my opinion.

ive always wanted to meet someone who would support toilet paper not being allowed on foodstamps. its helpful. it might not be what you would pick first, andyes, ultimately, people must have food to survive. lots of groups send toilet paper. not just churches. what a ridiculous point.

Quote:
BTW when I talked about them saying one thing and doing another I was talking about false advertising to the people donating.

this is illegal anyway, and not a concern specifically for a church organization

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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averyv wrote: so, if they

averyv wrote:

so, if they only help poor people, thats descrimination on class right? rich people are people too, voidrest.

or, how about if they end up only helping predominantly black areas? this is descrimination based on race, of course.


I was talking more about religious discrimination and skin color shouldn't matter. If someone needs help they still need help.

Quote:
im guessing you just made this practice up. if you didnt, id love to see some documentation on it.

I was using as an example of something that people might do, however I think in a lot of cases they just give out bibles instead of food.

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/39455 (the kind of thing I was talking about, admittedly not exactly it, but pretty damn close)

Quote:
ive always wanted to meet someone who would support toilet paper not being allowed on foodstamps. its helpful. it might not be what you would pick first, andyes, ultimately, people must have food to survive. lots of groups send toilet paper. not just churches. what a ridiculous point.

You started the argument of how useful toilet paper is I was talking about bibles. And my point was that it is kind of hard to shit if you starve to death...

Quote:
this is illegal anyway, and not a concern specifically for a church organization

The point is still valid, if they are doing something illegal it doesn't matter who is doing. A church could be doing this and do it fairly easily without people questioning it.

http://www.the-latest.com/famished-niger-people-get-bibles-not-food


averyv
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Quote:I was talking more

Quote:
I was talking more about religious discrimination and skin color shouldn't matter.

oh so now you want to specify.

Quote:
If someone needs help they still need help.

if someone needs help, they still need help. and so, if a group is helping someone, regaurdless the reason, they are still helping someone. i dont see how it affects you the reason. methods such as simply distributing bibles, as i have repeatedly said, should not be acknowledged as humanitarian aid. its a nice gesture at best. a misguided waste of some glue and paper and another opinion otherwise. depending on how convincing it is, i suppose.

Quote:
I was using as an example of something that people might do, however I think in a lot of cases they just give out bibles instead of food.

'a lot'? thats 28% more than a few, and 67% more than 'some'. in my experience you are wrong, but i will not rule out the other possibility.

regaurdless, it happens. not saying it doesnt. i also agree that it is wrong. but..there are much better organizations to go after. and, if youre into typecasting, there are even better types of organizations to hate all over. ones doing much more direct and willful harm than some church. vastly more demonstrable. and horrific.

anyway, everything youre talking about is just reason to audit a non-profit organization. your arguments are fine, and questions such as these should be asked, but not of a religious organization any more specifically than any other non-profit. paper trails and all that crap get ran for a reason. if youre worried about it, go join a watchdog group.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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Quote:oh so now you want to

Quote:
oh so now you want to specify.

I guess I should have really pointed out how I was talking about religious, but my train of thought was that we are talking about religious groups so we would be talking about the religious kind. Also I said "or do something like read the bible for food." However that or could have giving you the idea that I was talking about two seperate points, which would be pretty reasonable.
Quote:
'a lot'? thats 28% more than a few, and 67% more than 'some'. in my experience you are wrong, but i will not rule out the other possibility.

I really should work on my word choice... I was trying to say out of they things they where do wrong. As in it would be more correct for me to say some only give out bibles then some make you convert before you can get help.
Quote:
anyway, everything youre talking about is just reason to audit a non-profit organization.

I would be pissed about any non-profit group, but faith-based ones literaly have a holy image and I would think a lot of people wouldn't check up on them as much. I really don't think you need to have any kind of faith in it.