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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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  •  That is fascinating. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd be interested in some of the non-salary benefits, too.
    I'm especially struck by how flat the curve is for Catholic priests (makes me kinda atavistically proud, too). What about nuns?
    Do you have some links? Duke/Pew, I think I can find.

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:56:40 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Priests... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      have taken a vow of poverty. But the device there has been to build lavish facilities for those at the top (1000+?), and particularly bishops, etc. -- like the one in Germany who blew $20 million on his residence. Oh, wait, not "his." So he's still poor. Lotta cheering almost everywhere when Francis busted him on that. But it had been commonplace enough for a long time before.

      As to benefits that aren't salary...

      Some of those have included some health care benefits; typically partial payment of health insurance. Often only for the minister, not for family. But only some have included it at all. Very much church by church, and more likely at the larger ones.

      Most include some modest amount for professional expenses -- mileage for driving one's own vehicle all over, dues for any professional associations, and meetings one must/should attend. Capped by whatever the amount is. Spend more, and it's just like teachers buying supplies for kids.

      A very few -- and only relatively recently -- include an employer's donation towards retirement. Before that (and still, widely), clergy and their spouses depended entirely on savings and social security for survival in old age. Collections to help pay for urgent medical care, food, utility bills, etc., were commonplace. Still are.

      Insurance (maybe)
      Retirement (maybe)
      Professional expenses

      That's what's on my contract, and it's very, very typical. Mine includes insurance and retirement. The retirement will suffice to help support a very modest lifestyle.

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

      by ogre on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 08:31:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Insurance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ogre, shanikka

        It has struck me in this thread that many who are cheering the taxation of clergy housing might want to think about a corollary concept - taxing the value of employer provided medical insurance. That has been proposed, and would be a logical extension of this line of thinking.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 02:07:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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