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They should be taxed the way non profit organizations are. And I don't know much about it, but I thought they are currently taxed that way.
time to make em pay back all that the churches have sucked out of their flocks and local communities.
No they should not be tax exempt, and their financials should be competently transparent.
Real tax reform would include revisiting the whole tax exemption issue. The Kaiser "non-profit" HMO took in more than $1 billion in net income in 2011, and paid no tax. Churches take in vast sums and pay no tax. Yet, actual charities struggle for money.
Currently, "bona fide" religions (including Romney's cult but excluding Travolta's) are automatically exempt, but are prohibited from preaching politics. They should be treated like newspapers, which are equally protected by the first amendment. Newspapers pay taxes and are allowed to endorse candidates.
Ending the tax exemption for churches would result in more money for actual charity. For example, the Pope might not be able to buy as many dresses, but Catholic Charities might have more $ to help people in need. Current IRS policy presumes that preaching is inherently charitable, but it isn't.
Another reform: Churches can't copyright, or trademark, or own companies that do. No more Multi Million Dollar Record and Publishing companies tax free, or claiming that the Revelations of Xenu and his 747-like Interstellar Mothership are trade secrets or whatever. They can charge for products, but can't prevent them from being disseminated. It's an odd Church that doesn't want to "Spread the Gospel"
Religions should only be allowed to buy land that they actually use a minimum of 40 hours a month. Too many churches lock up tax free land on spec.
All non-profits for that matter.
I assume that a non-profit wants to spread their ideas, so copyrighting and trademarking what they produce it is ridiculous. I suppose they could trademark their name or logo only to prevent confusion.
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