Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TAXES: Should churches pay a share?

It is not true that churches pay no taxes. It varies from city to city and county to county and state to state ... at least with regard to relevant services; but, in general, churches do not pay "property taxes."
They are not the words one expects to hear from a politician or a Southerner, and Leonard Scarcella is both: "Our city has an excessive number of churches."

Scarcella is mayor of this Houston-area community, which has 51 churches and other religious institutions packed into its 7 square miles. [...]

Stafford, population 19,227, is the largest city in Texas without a property tax, and it depends on sales taxes and business fees for revenue. Nonprofits have been attracted by its rapid growth and minimal deed restrictions. "It's thrown everything out of balance, plus providing zero revenue. Somebody's got to pay for police, fire and schools," City Councilman Cecil Willis said.
Considering Jesus admonition to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" [Luke 20:25], I'd think there should be no disagreement but there sure is.

I've always felt churches should pay their way, property taxes included ... what do you think?

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