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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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  •  Does this mean their bowling and golf (8+ / 0-)

    courses are no longer tax deductible.  These things are part of the big appeal of mega churches in Texas--a free country club style of life for members.

    However, rural this will really kill some people.  I can imagine the conversations now.  In my Texas town of 3000 reduced from once 30,000.  There are about 30 churches with about 30 attending members each.  They all provide simple housing for their ministers.  Every thing was paid for long ago and now they barely make a low salary and pay the utilities.

    •  Sounds like welfare to me. nt (0+ / 0-)

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

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

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right, Minister/Priest Housing (5+ / 0-)

      is just the proverbial FREE RIDE so called religious institutions have been getting.

      it's absurd, particularly given many churches have obviously crossed the line regarding political advocacy.

      The Mormon church is one of the more egregious examples.. they are building huge shopping malls, getting corporate welfare to do so-- which they do not need.

      congress not dealing with this crap proves again how useless they are.

    •  Congress can fix that easily if they care. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, War on Error, Bronx59, JerryNA

      All they have to do is give every Not For Profit the same benefit.

      So, a minister could get a certain value of tax-free housing...and so could the groundskeeper at a historic home maintained by a registered secular Not For Profit.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:20:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there is a religiously neutral way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        ...to do this.  

        The value of living in a home of a certain modest standard/rent, located on or next to the property of a non-profit, being made tax exempt.

        Being required to live "over the store" is sometimes of dubious value to established professionals.  I'm thinking of a good-sized, but badly kept, house belonging to a Baptist church on a local highway that has been vacant for years, and is now being offered for sale or lease.

    •  This just means that the pastor has to declare the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, VClib, Catte Nappe

      value of his employer provided housing as income. It doesn't affect the local tax exemptions for church businesses.

    •  This seems like a non-problem (0+ / 0-)

      They charge the minister a minimal rent; they up the minister's pay enough to cover that, then take the rent as income and the maintenance costs and minister's raise as expenses. Should be pretty much a wash, just a bit of paperwork. It should work in more expensive venues too.

      "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US." spoken by Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.

      by Sailorben on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:15:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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