Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

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Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Del » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:36 pm

This will hit national news soon. Right now, just a local story in Madison.

Federal judge strikes down tax-free housing for clergy

Madison's own Freedom From Religion Foundation has won a court battle striking down as unconstitutional the parsonage exemption, allowing churches to provide free housing to their ministers.

In most cases, the equivalent market value of such housing is taxable to the resident as earned income.

But churches and ministers have long enjoyed a tax exemption, allowing churches to afford their ministers salaries and helping ministers to support their families.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Cleon » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm

I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Goose55 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by FredS » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:26 pm

Cleon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm
I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
Duh. It doesn't take a genius to spot the goat in a flock of sheep. Or to see where this deal is headed.

Churches will soon be forced to abandon any and every statement of belief that may be considered discriminatory to any protected group if they wish to keep their tax favored status. Most will not, and most will lose their status as 'tax-exempt', or 'non-profit'. It stinks and it's a shock to our sensibilities but it's not the end of the world. It's simply a logical progression in our progressive practice of dividing humans in to separate groups and offering all sorts of protections to those groups.

I hope that we'll someday reunite all peoples back in to the single group of humans in the Kingdom here on earth, but it certainly won't happen while I'm alive. We'll continue down this road of dividing ourselves into smaller (and as such, more vulnerable) groups until one group decides it's time to wipe out the smaller groups. So as not to run afoul of the new TOS, I'll not mention which group I think is most likely to put their boot on the necks of our small and scattered flocks, but it's easy enough to see it happening almost every day in the news.

EDIT: Goose, I know you meant no disrespect, but words matter. People with dementia don't 'waste away'. They may be no more productive to society than day old babies, but their worth is not measured in what they can do for you or me. It's a horrible trap we fall in to when we start categorizing people based on mental or physical ability, color, sexuality, intellect, age, location, stature, or any other descriptor we can imagine. It's even worse when we start measuring their worth based on any trait they may or may not possess.
Last edited by FredS on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Del » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:17 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
It is an "honorary board" position, but Ron Jr. has done TV ads promoting atheism.

We can avoid "political" discussions by leaving the political personalities out of this.
=================================

I learned some more on local news radio:

This is the second time that the FFRF has won this argument with this same judge.

First time, an appeals court overturned the decision on a technicality. They noted that FFRF was not in any way harmed by the parsonage exemption, and so they did not have standing.

So FFRF applied to the IRS for a parsonage exemption, got denied, and now they are trying again.

There will be an appeal by the US Justice Department. As I understand it, the job of the Appeals Court is to look for technical flaws in the decision by the federal judge based in Madison. (Perhaps a real lawyer can confirm or correct this.)

Meanwhile the local judge is killing time, letting both sides argue "remedies" about how his new ruling should proceed. The judge might issue an injunction that delays enforcement -- i.e., the parsonage exemption may continue to exist until an appeals court decides and the Supreme Court has a chance to look at the case.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by FredS » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:38 pm

Del wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:17 pm
. . .
This is the second time that the FFRF has won this argument with this same judge.

First time, an appeals court overturned the decision on a technicality. They noted that FFRF was not in any way harmed by the parsonage exemption, and so they did not have standing.

So FFRF applied to the IRS for a parsonage exemption, got denied, and now they are trying again. . .
The assignment of a favored tax status puts the feds, via the IRS, in the position of determining exactly who is clergy and exactly what a religious order is. When we were mostly Christians it was easy enough for our governors to express our will. Not so much nowadays.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by hugodrax » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by DepartedLight » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by hugodrax » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:08 pm

DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
Too subtle.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Goose55 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:26 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:08 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
Too subtle.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by hugodrax » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:31 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:26 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:08 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
Too subtle.
There are the boys now gathering around their habitual stronghold. The High School cafeteria table
Derp!
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Goose55 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 pm

DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
How about speaking English, and being direct? Say what you mean and mean what you say.
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Skip » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
How about speaking English, and being direct? Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Actually, they ARE being direct; the "lost in translation" lies with you.

And I still say he's a sock puppet.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Del » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:31 am

Cleon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm
I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
Do a little math, then.

I don't know about where you live, but around here a little parsonage might rent for $800 per month. That is roughly $10,000 per year that would be imputed to a pastor as "earned income."

Most pastors are in the 10% tax bracket. So this means his family's tax bill will increase by about $1000. This is the number that a typical church would have to come up with.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Goose55 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 am

Skip wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
How about speaking English, and being direct? Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Actually, they ARE being direct; the "lost in translation" lies with you.

And I still say he's a sock puppet.
Well then, go ahead and say it. I am not privy to who Richard is, nor up to speed on what "zederated" means.
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by tuttle » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:04 am

Del wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:31 am
Cleon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm
I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
Do a little math, then.

I don't know about where you live, but around here a little parsonage might rent for $800 per month. That is roughly $10,000 per year that would be imputed to a pastor as "earned income."

Most pastors are in the 10% tax bracket. So this means his family's tax bill will increase by about $1000. This is the number that a typical church would have to come up with.
It's a crying shame, really.

But of the three churches where I have served there have been bi-vocational shepherds. The last two were/are fully served by bivocational shepherds. Not because of tax exempt issues, but purely out of necessity. Both of the last two churches I've been at, may have been able to support their minister/s but it would've probably strapped them. I think we can take encouragement from the apostle Paul that he had a little tent making business on the side and didn't demand the churches support him.

Personally, though I'm no longer in the role I once was, I was bi-vocational then, and I'm here to tell you, being bi-vocational is hard, but it certainly is a valid way to serve. I'm not saying this to naysay the dark clouds on the horizon, I don't like the look of them either, but just trying to offer what little encouragement I can by way of reminder that we still have the option of an umbrella in a storm.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by hugodrax » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:16 am

Goose55 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 am
Skip wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
How about speaking English, and being direct? Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Actually, they ARE being direct; the "lost in translation" lies with you.

And I still say he's a sock puppet.
Well then, go ahead and say it. I am not privy to who Richard is, nor up to speed on what "zederated" means.
Are you spoiling for a fight, Goose? Do you really, really want a fight? Well, you aren't going to get it.

Stand down and move along.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by FredS » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 am

tuttle wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:04 am
Del wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:31 am
Cleon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm
I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
Do a little math, then.

I don't know about where you live, but around here a little parsonage might rent for $800 per month. That is roughly $10,000 per year that would be imputed to a pastor as "earned income."

Most pastors are in the 10% tax bracket. So this means his family's tax bill will increase by about $1000. This is the number that a typical church would have to come up with.
It's a crying shame, really.

But of the three churches where I have served there have been bi-vocational shepherds. The last two were/are fully served by bivocational shepherds. Not because of tax exempt issues, but purely out of necessity. Both of the last two churches I've been at, may have been able to support their minister/s but it would've probably strapped them. I think we can take encouragement from the apostle Paul that he had a little tent making business on the side and didn't demand the churches support him.

Personally, though I'm no longer in the role I once was, I was bi-vocational then, and I'm here to tell you, being bi-vocational is hard, but it certainly is a valid way to serve. I'm not saying this to naysay the dark clouds on the horizon, I don't like the look of them either, but just trying to offer what little encouragement I can by way of reminder that we still have the option of an umbrella in a storm.
I've never seen or heard the term 'bi-vocational' before, but you're very brave to come out on CPS.

Don't ask anyone here to bake a cake though.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Skip » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:50 am

hugodrax wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:16 am
Goose55 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:54 am
Skip wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:44 pm
DepartedLight wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:03 pm
Goose55 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:11 pm
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's son sits on the Board of that Freedom From Religion Foundation. It must not have been a pretty sight watching his father waste away with dementia.
Derpery derpery Derpaliffing von Derpendorff!
How about instead we use, "Stop being a <zederated> Richard!"
How about speaking English, and being direct? Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Actually, they ARE being direct; the "lost in translation" lies with you.

And I still say he's a sock puppet.
Well then, go ahead and say it. I am not privy to who Richard is, nor up to speed on what "zederated" means.
Are you spoiling for a fight, Goose? Do you really, really want a fight? Well, you aren't going to get it.

Stand down and move along.
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Re: Fed Judge strikes down the Minister Housing tax exemption

Post by Del » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:54 am

FredS wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 am
tuttle wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:04 am
Del wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:31 am
Cleon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:02 pm
I'm the Treasurer at our church and we have budget meetings starting next month. Thanks for the link.

I'm telling you, religious organizations will not be tax exempt much longer. I can see the writing on the wall.
Do a little math, then.

I don't know about where you live, but around here a little parsonage might rent for $800 per month. That is roughly $10,000 per year that would be imputed to a pastor as "earned income."

Most pastors are in the 10% tax bracket. So this means his family's tax bill will increase by about $1000. This is the number that a typical church would have to come up with.
It's a crying shame, really.

But of the three churches where I have served there have been bi-vocational shepherds. The last two were/are fully served by bivocational shepherds. Not because of tax exempt issues, but purely out of necessity. Both of the last two churches I've been at, may have been able to support their minister/s but it would've probably strapped them. I think we can take encouragement from the apostle Paul that he had a little tent making business on the side and didn't demand the churches support him.

Personally, though I'm no longer in the role I once was, I was bi-vocational then, and I'm here to tell you, being bi-vocational is hard, but it certainly is a valid way to serve. I'm not saying this to naysay the dark clouds on the horizon, I don't like the look of them either, but just trying to offer what little encouragement I can by way of reminder that we still have the option of an umbrella in a storm.
I've never seen or heard the term 'bi-vocational' before, but you're very brave to come out on CPS.

Don't ask anyone here to bake a cake though.
:rotfl:
==========================
As Catholics speak of these things, having a job to provide for your family is not a "vocation" (i.e., a "calling"). Being a husband/father is the vocation. Having a job or career is a way to fulfill one's duties in his vocation as Father, providing for his family.

A pastor is called to be a spiritual father to his flock. This is also a vocation.

As most Evangelical pastors are also married, we tend to see them all as trying to live two vocations... and we wonder at how they manage it.

No cake! (But I am willing to host a barbecue.)
====================================

During the Reformation era, it was a capital crime to be a Catholic priest in England. Priests often held mundane jobs (such as shepherding livestock) when they weren't traveling about, risking their lives to provide Mass and sacraments for the underground Church. The employer was often a recusant Catholic family who would also face execution for harboring a priest.

For us, having to pay some additional income tax is a small cross to bear on this cusp of the new persecution.
"Utter frogshit from start to finish." - Onyx

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." - Eph 4

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