How Our Taxes Subsidize Religion in the United States

Aug 10, 2012 | Posted by: Hedonist | Full story: www.secularhumanism.org

The estimated annual government subsidy of religion in the U.S. is $71 billion (yes, that's BILLION). This subsidy includes Direct payouts by the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, AND through exemptions to income, property, investment, and sales tax.

If religions want to engage in charitable work, they should separate religious activities and finances from their charitable activities and finances. The charities run by religions could be tax-exempt, but the religious organizations would be treated like civic leagues or sports clubs or any other volunteer organizations. Those groups are not tax-exempt and are not subsidized by the government.

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“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

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#1
Aug 12, 2012
 

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I want my tax dollars that went to churches back. Seventy-one billion a year in unpaid taxes means that every American taxpayer has to cough up about $375 -$750 if there are two earners in the family - just so that churches can have free fire protection, roads, defense and the like at the expense of nonbelievers.

Being forced to support them is unacceptable.
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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Aug 12, 2012
 

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You think you’ve got problems. Religionists want to keep about 2.7% of the membership of the UK’s upper house specifically for Church of England bishops – whether the House of Lords is reformed or not!

I think this is the point, quote,“..the criteria of what it means to be a charitable organization for tax purposes: If the function or service the charity provides were discontinued, would it result in a legal requirement for public funds to continue the function? Religious soup kitchens would probably meet this criteria..”

I think there are other acceptable criteria, such as provision of a community hall, or newsletter, or the expenses of youth leaders should be free of taxes even if they wouldn’t be replaced by the state. Really, tax relief for the rich, but not to provide shared and perhaps meagre facilities, or a get-together at the Church hall?

And why pick on clerics? There are people who work far less, do far less service to anyone and are arguably a burden to society who pay a disproportionately small amount of tax. Until that’s sorted and as long as there is one law for the poor and another for the rich, criminal enterprise might seem just another way to make a living.
nOgOd

Moline, IL

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Aug 13, 2012
 

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Since the religionist pharmacists can opt out of providing birth control because it upsets them, then non-believers should be able to receive rebates from the government for past faith-based subsidies.

Local governments already plow church parking lots for free and give discounts when renting city halls and arenas.

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