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View Diary: Fed Court: Ministers now have to pay income tax on their "free housing" (323 comments)

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  •  I guess it would be (8+ / 0-)

    deemed imputed income.  The Xian thing for the parishioners to do is pay the minister a decent salary which would offset the tax by having the minister pay rent.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:03:43 PM PST

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    •  they'll have to do a tax gross up (7+ / 0-)

      if they want the same net benefit to go to the pastor.

    •  The latest data I saw locally was that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, phonegery

      ministers made around $40K-$50K annually which is not too shabby when you throw in the perks.  OTOH there are many bi-vocational ministers and semi-retired ministers as well so it is hard to accurately determine the average salary for ministers

      •  The median income for a family in the USA (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, blueoasis, enhydra lutris

        is around $45,000, maybe a little less.  For a FAMILY, two working adults.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:33:02 PM PST

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      •  And also some that get downright abusive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish

        when it comes to extracting money from the flock.

        I've heard of one who claimed the whole congregation-wide tithe for himself. Building funds, the power bill, pew hymnals, everything that wasn't his salary? Second passing of the plate, every Sunday. Multiply that insisted 10% by twenty or thirty families...

        He and one preaching family I know of in the same area probably skew the data for their county's ministers by quite a bit, and the area is by no means short on churches.

      •  Strip the televangelists out. (3+ / 0-)

        That sort of thing might skew the figures.

        It's an old fact--for centuries--that the norm for clergy has been that they're relatively poor compared to their congregations. Threadbare suits, modest housing -- again, not the televangelists.

        And given than the mainstream traditions require a master's degree, etc., etc., there's a mountain of debt. An MDiv debt has been running close to $100k of late, as new grads go out into the market.

        How many people have masters to start a career, and that kind of debt, and make the national median income (or less)?

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:48:53 PM PST

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        •  Well if they really are poor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          They won't be paying much in taxes then.  The ones who are really going to get hit are these KKKhristian fundie and evangelical megachurches.

          Don't call these racist thugs the tea party, they are *teabaggers*! Please don't insult the original Tea Party as they were patriots. Call them TeaBaggers!

          by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:01:00 PM PST

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        •  more folks have MS and MA degrees at the (0+ / 0-)

          beginning of their career these days than there were in the 1980s or 1970s for example.  Also I note the proliferation of non-accredited seminaries which provide degrees to a lot of these folks.  The SBC some years ago had something of a scandal when the then head was revealed to have his degree from a diploma mill.  Policy decided on at that time was each church would determine if a degree from a diploma mill would be considered an educational credential

          •  All true. (0+ / 0-)

            But not true of mainline traditions, which have had accredited seminaries for hundreds of years.

            What's funny to me is that there is a long, long list of institutions that are seen as being public goods that various faiths established and helped fund and pay for. Harvard, Tufts, and a long, long list of universities that are secular -- all created by churches/clergy. Frequently for the public good, but also to train educated clergy (not the bs papermill sort). And there are other things as well.

            But nearly no one knows. And folks wail about how the churches don't do anything for the public good.

            And how many people can you point to who are leaving other careers in mid-life (not having lost a job and career; leaving good ones) and taking up $100k in debt to go into a field where the income is going to be modest, and pretty much always be modest?

            "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

            by ogre on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:52:36 AM PST

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        •  ah, my student loan debt (0+ / 0-)

          if i ever get that paid off, that would really help me pay my taxes

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 10:19:04 AM PST

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