View Poll Results: Should churches be exempt from paying taxes?

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  • Yes

    6 42.86%
  • No

    8 57.14%
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  1. #1
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    Should churches be tax exempt?

    The Islamic Society of Milwaukee wants to build a 13,000 square foot "super mosque" in the politically conservative Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Not too far from where I live, actually.

    This is a hotly debated issue, because people don't like Muslims and mosques. But, somebody made an interesting point. The Islamic Society has bought land that was zoned for commercial activity. If the city allows the Mosque, it would be giving up a huge chunk of land that would be otherwise used by taxable businesses paying property taxes.

    With religions of all faiths building these super deluxe mega-churches, should they be exempt from paying property taxes? I don't know how I feel about this yet, but I think there is an interesting discussion here.

  2. #2
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    No. Religion is a business like any other.

  3. #3
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Come on... the catholic church, scientology and mormons won't have none of that crap... America was founded so that religions could be tax exempt ;-).

    Besides... zones can change and I doubt that empty commercially zoned lot was bound to attract high-dollar business in Wisconsin unless dollar stores and chinese restaurants are considered as such.

    One thing I will agree (in a way) is that homes owned by churches should not be tax exempt.

    In Florida as well as around America, there are tons of mansions owned by churches and they are simply homes, but the fact that they are owned by the church makes them tax exempt whereas they could be paying hundreds of thousands in property taxes....

    Being the pastor of a mega church equals millions of dollars...

  4. #4
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    ^^^ Does the Catholic Church still own Shea Stadium? Maybe that's an urban myth. I dunno.

    I don't think any entity should be exempt from property taxes.

  5. #5
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    As much as I hate taxes I don't think anyone should be exempt from them.

  6. #6
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearded Frog View Post
    As much as I hate taxes I don't think anyone should be exempt from them.
    +1

  7. #7
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Should "churches" be taxed? I can think of at least one that should be.

    http://tedhaggard.com/2011/12/15/the...-james-church/

    Btw, Haggard lives here in Colorado Springs in a very nice large McMansion paid for presumably by the donations of idiots. His "church" is located in a barn on his property so you better believe he doesn't pay a penny in property tax or any other type of tax for that matter.
    Last edited by kbohip; 03-14-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohip View Post
    Should "churches" be taxed? I can think of at least one that should be.

    http://tedhaggard.com/2011/12/15/the...-james-church/

    Btw, Haggard lives here in Colorado Springs in a very nice large McMansion paid for presumably by the donations of idiots. His "church" is located in a barn on his property so you better believe he doesn't pay a penny in property tax or any other type of tax for that matter.
    That's what I'm saying. All these non-denominational super churches are being built all over the country, getting huge weekly congregations, netting tons of cash. They are building these super-deluxe buildings and I dunno if they should be tax exempt anymore. I mean, in 1780, churches were like tiny little one room shacks.

    I am still on the fence but I think maybe churches should be pay property taxes. Churches still get fire and police protection, so why are they freeloading on paying local property taxes?

  9. #9
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    That's what I'm saying. All these non-denominational super churches are being built all over the country, getting huge weekly congregations, netting tons of cash. They are building these super-deluxe buildings and I dunno if they should be tax exempt anymore. I mean, in 1780, churches were like tiny little one room shacks.

    I am still on the fence but I think maybe churches should be pay property taxes. Churches still get fire and police protection, so why are they freeloading on paying local property taxes?
    Church is a huge business in this country. One drive through Colorado Springs and you can see that. Haggard for instance started his church in the basement of his house back in the mid-eighties here. He grew it into what I think was THE biggest church in the entire US at one time with 14,000 members, New Life. It's a HUGE building on the north side of town and whenever I drive by it I think to myself how the city would just love to be able to collect property tax revenue off of it, especially with every road leading to it crumbling to dust, including New Life Drive.

    http://www.newlifechurch.org/inside.jsp?id=79

  10. #10
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohip View Post
    Church is a huge business in this country. One drive through Colorado Springs and you can see that. Haggard for instance started his church in the basement of his house back in the mid-eighties here. He grew it into what I think was THE biggest church in the entire US at one time with 14,000 members, New Life. It's a HUGE building on the north side of town and whenever I drive by it I think to myself how the city would just love to be able to collect property tax revenue off of it, especially with every road leading to it crumbling to dust, including New Life Drive.

    http://www.newlifechurch.org/inside.jsp?id=79
    It boggles me that all these super churches are nondenominational. We all know that the Catholic Church is a huge establishment, but all these mega McChurches are just sort of generic protestant with (as far as I can tell) no real values or teachings, other than just generic "God is great and Jesus loves you." Granted, I haven't been in all of these churches but that seems to be the message.

    Maybe that says something about Americans. They want to go to church, but they don't want to be smashed over the head with religious teachings and specific lifestyle requirements like the Catohlics. I was raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod) and the church had all sorts of rules about how we had to live our lives. I have cousins who were in the Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church which was even more conservative than the Missouri one, and my cousins couldn't even join the Boy Scouts because the Wisconsin Synod thought that the Boy Scouts were run by the Catholics or something.

  11. #11
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Lets do away with all tax exemptions then, to be fair. If you "make" money either through sales, services or donations it should be taxable. Some folks don't like religious exemptions. I don't like exemptions for other tax exempt organizations. Tax the ACLU, Planed Parenthood, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Humane Society etc.
    FRH
    If more sane people were armed the crazy ones would get off fewer shots.

    Win 7 Premium SP1 / MX 15 KDE / MEPIS 11

  12. #12
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    It boggles me that all these super churches are nondenominational. We all know that the Catholic Church is a huge establishment, but all these mega McChurches are just sort of generic protestant with (as far as I can tell) no real values or teachings, other than just generic "God is great and Jesus loves you." Granted, I haven't been in all of these churches but that seems to be the message.

    Maybe that says something about Americans. They want to go to church, but they don't want to be smashed over the head with religious teachings and specific lifestyle requirements like the Catohlics. I was raised Lutheran (Missouri Synod) and the church had all sorts of rules about how we had to live our lives. I have cousins who were in the Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church which was even more conservative than the Missouri one, and my cousins couldn't even join the Boy Scouts because the Wisconsin Synod thought that the Boy Scouts were run by the Catholics or something.
    New Life "church" has a cafe, library, and a huge stage in the worship center complete with a full on Christian rock band and even stage lighting and screens hanging from the ceiling that show close ups of the band. Lol, Rush could play there. It's like Wal-Mart for church. "Wal-Church..Discount worshipping" Imo, these new Christian "worship centers" are nothing more than places for singles to mingle at, and the average family to go to so they can tell people they attend "church". Nothing wrong with that, but I do find it strange.

    I was raised Catholic, and let me tell you, that stuff would NOT fly in any Catholic church that I attended. A stage with full lighting system and a rock band playing? A cafe? Hah! I guess the way I was raised, church was a place to go to worship God and atone for your sins, not to hear a concert and have a latte and burger.

  13. #13
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    While I understand why some would want churches to be taxed, I don't think they should be. The reason being, the government uses the tax code to try to control and influence behaviors. I don't want the government to be in that position over a church.
    Brian

  14. #14
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk94si View Post
    While I understand why some would want churches to be taxed, I don't think they should be. The reason being, the government uses the tax code to try to control and influence behaviors. I don't want the government to be in that position over a church.
    The biggest reason I wouldn't want to see (some of) them taxed is not because they shouldn't be, but because it would just be extra money that the government would no doubt squander or piss away on nonsense.

  15. #15
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    Re: Should churches be tax exempt?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohip View Post

    I was raised Catholic, and let me tell you, that stuff would NOT fly in any Catholic church that I attended. A stage with full lighting system and a rock band playing? A cafe? Hah! I guess the way I was raised, church was a place to go to worship God and atone for your sins, not to hear a concert and have a latte and burger.
    I was raised Catholic (Boston Irish) and attended CYO dances with both live bands and disk jockeys. Probably not as elaborate, but then it becomes a matter of degree. And these days, to attract the kids, you're competing with clubs and commercial concerts that put on shows that were unimaginable back when I went to the CYO dances. Just saying.
    FRH
    If more sane people were armed the crazy ones would get off fewer shots.

    Win 7 Premium SP1 / MX 15 KDE / MEPIS 11

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