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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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  •  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

    [ Parent ]

    •  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

      [ Parent ]

      •  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

            [ Parent ]

            •  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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