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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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  •  ok (0+ / 0-)

    but the idea is that someone decided that churches should not be subject to taxation as part of keeping them separate from governmental functions

    therefore church property is not taxed, and when churches owned parsonages and rectories they were not taxed.

    my church does not have a parsonage, so you are saying that means that my housing should be taxed, even though Joe Blow whose church does have a parsonage can live there without having his housing taxed?

    and that is fair?

    i understand you dislike churches and ministers.  at this point i am talking about the difference in treatment between churches and the other professions you listed, who never had any law exempting their employers from property 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 10:42:13 AM PST

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    •  You appear to be talking about property taxes (0+ / 0-)

      which are irrelevant and not at issue. This case subjects to Federal Income Taxes the value of a parsonage allowance paid to a minister, just like the remuneration paid to the lay peasantry is subject to income taxes. Because only such allowances were at issue, the case does nto address the value of on site parsonages.

      A carpenter, plumber, janitor or whatever could work for a church, with its property tax exemption, just like a minister does. Being mere hoi polloi, they would be subject to tax on any and all remuneration for so doing. Section 107 treated ministers as a specialclass of persons, above the hoi polloi who were exempted from tax on some of their earnings solely becasue they were ministers and not mere peasantry. That violates the establishment clause.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:48:11 PM PST

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      •  the reason the income taxes are exempt (0+ / 0-)

        is because ministers used to live on church owned property that was exempt from taxation.

        now many do not.

        but instead of punishing the ministerial employee for the fact that the church does not own a home for him/her to live in, the IRS still allows clergy rent to be tax free

        it's not just because they work for the church, or are some special higher class of person.

        i am not confused about property taxes and income taxes.  it was standard for centuries for clergy to live tax free on church owned property.  now the income they get for their housing is tax exempt to make up for the fact that so few churches have rectories or parsonages these days.

        it was much rarer for the sexton/carpenter/plumber/janitor to live on church property.  that's why their housing income is not exempt from taxes now.

        it has nothing to do with hoi polloi, and in fact the lion's share of ministers I know qualify as hoi polloi under most definitions of that term

        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 Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:40:21 PM PST

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        •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:04:45 AM PST

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          •  how is it wrong, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

            i am certain of my facts.  are you disagreeing with my opinion (about the hoi polloi)?

            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 Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:37:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Property taxes are imposed or not (some states (0+ / 0-)

              lack them) by states and their political subdivisions. Whether any state has such a tax, whether it provides any exemptions, and whether those exemptions do or do not include some or all of the property owned by churches has nothing to do with the FEDERAL income taxation of the fair rental value of parsonages or the amount of parsonage allowances.

              Congress, in its infinite wisdom, decided to exclude from the income of "ministers" both the value of parsonages used rent free and the amount of parsonage allowances. Section 107 granted both exemptions.

              26 USC § 107 - Rental value of parsonages

                  In the case of a minister of the gospel, gross income does not include—
                  (1) the rental value of a home furnished to him as part of his compensation; or
                  (2) the rental allowance paid to him as part of his compensation, to the extent used by him to rent or provide a home and to the extent such allowance does not exceed the fair rental value of the home, including furnishings and appurtenances such as a garage, plus the cost of utilities.

              I finally broke down, after all these years, and posted the actual text of 107, 170 and 501(c)(3), which you may refer to opr not as you see fit, here

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 11:31:27 AM PST

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              •  it seems we agree with each other (0+ / 0-)

                i am aware of everything you posted.

                i am talking about the historical reason for parsonage allowances.

                you feel the exemption is unfair and unnecessary, but otherwise we are talking about the same thing

                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 Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:31:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  thanks for the linked diary. i did read it. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                enhydra lutris

                especially where you say that you do not care about the reason for the exemption, which is what I was talking about

                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 Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:34:00 PM PST

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                •  The reason cannot ever be known. You read the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TrueBlueMajority

                  prefacatory portion of a bill or act and it says all wonder ful groovy stuff. You read the committee reports and it says different groovy stuff. You read the floor debate and it is entirely different. Meanwhile, if you get to the bottom there was horse trading and a ton of lobbying.  There is no way to ever know why Congress did anything.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:06:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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