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Church Tax

A penalty tax triggered by certain actions.
  [vote for,

I understand that when a priest molestation a child, or even several children, that might well be the action of a single, individual person not representative of the church as a whole. But when it is discovered that one or more church leaders ABOVE that priest covered it up, that is something different. My idea to help our struggling economy is simple: remove the tax exemptions from any church whose leaders are found guilty of covering up abuse scandals. The whole church, ie, all Roman Catholic churches, in either the state or the nation, depending on how many churches the highest-ranking figure involved in the cover-up was involved with.
21 Quest, Nov 03 2012

Charitable status, public benefit and “closed” congregations http://www.lawandre...osed-congregations/
Here's an example of how the UK law deals with the slippery issue of providing tax-breaks to religious organisations - the answer, use the legal definition of a "charity" and provide tax-breaks to organisations running on charitable grounds, be they religious or otherwise. That way, you can give or withold the practical benefits of tax-cuts based on measurable facts, rather than be forced to discuss tricky religious and philosophical concepts in the courts. [zen_tom, Nov 05 2012]


       I believe it is possible to declare a church to be a cult or other type inappropriate organization. But there would certainly be a Constitutional challenge.

       How about we add a <pick your percentage> directly to the tax rate of fellons, per offense? Instead of 3 strikes and your out, your tax rate is 10% higher. That seems like a pretty good idea, and would definitely be effective as a deterrent against white color crime.
theircompetitor, Nov 03 2012

       This would bring up the long-slumbering conflict over separation of church and state; full tax exemption was sort of the recompense given to organized religion for agreeing to stay out of government business.
Alterother, Nov 03 2012

       //it is possible to declare a church to be a cult or other type inappropriate organization// Is it possible to declare the opposite though?
pocmloc, Nov 03 2012

       Sure, if the cult in question fills out the proper forms and pays some mandatory administrative fees.
Alterother, Nov 03 2012

       Alterother, they haven't been doing that though. The news has been full of stories lately about church leaders urging the members of their congregations to vote a certain way on every issue from abortion to gay marriage, as well as trying to pass Christian legislation like the Defense of Marriage Act. How's that staying out of the government's business? I personally think that alone should be grounds to yank their tax exemption.

       TC, if they're going to pay higher tax rates, you have to give back the right to vote, which felons currently don't have.
21 Quest, Nov 03 2012

       Ah yes, well, there you've stumbled onto a horrid little thing called a 'loophole'. To quote the Great Grogged One, "It's within the realm of possibility I(*) might not have thought this through."

       *the narrative avatar in this context alluding to a collective formed of this country's founding fathers
Alterother, Nov 03 2012

       // collective //

       Hey, don't try to lay that one on us …
8th of 7, Nov 03 2012

       Stand up and with a straight face tell me the Borg had nothing whatsoever to do with the Magna Carta.
Alterother, Nov 03 2012

       [marked-for-deletion] Punish all people who do X

       Also... that's a pretty hefty incentive to find some leader guilty. Although you're talking about proving state of mind of a third party concerning an event to which he or she was not an eye-witness, nor were there likely any eye- witnesses, I'm sure a deal could be cut with the accused where they could be paid appropriately for their testimony if it implicated the right leaders. Or maybe a lighter sentence in plea bargaining...

       This is so wrong on so many levels that it's mind-boggling. Even sadder is the fact that so few will understand why.

       Go ahead and post an idea "Torture killings for all adherents of belief X, because they <insert trait you don't like>."

       Let me know when you've got the stake ready for me.
lurch, Nov 03 2012

       I'm referring to instances such as when the Pope sent out a letter to all his bishops instructing them, on pain of excommunication, to withhold information from the police who were investigating abuse allegations made against the church, and the bishops obeying these directives. Or instances where a Bishop relocates a known child molester to another parish without telling the people on the receiving end what they're being handed. A normal business, like a bank, is penalized for the actions of it's management staff, so why shouldn't a church that's run in every way like any other business?
21 Quest, Nov 03 2012

       //I'm referring to . . .//

       sp. "alluding to" since, barring cites, you're obviously not "referring to" anything.
FlyingToaster, Nov 03 2012

       Fair enough...
21 Quest, Nov 03 2012

       Why don't we just go ahead and remove the tax exemption of all religous groups? Said groups can then create sub-entities which follow all of the same rules as charitable organisations - including complete transperency of funding allocation.

       Followers can then choose to donate to the church, or the charity - but donations to the church are taxed. It would also mean that church finances come under scruitiny by law.

       It solves my main issue of resenting the bias given to religious organisations, whilst allowing the charitable activities to continue unfettered by tax.
Custardguts, Nov 05 2012

       I like it. I think it's ridiculous that our Constitution says 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion', yet we give established religions a huge tax cut.
21 Quest, Nov 05 2012


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