Last updated on: 3/22/2018 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources

The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):

  1. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (5.1 MB) PDF logo (publication 1828 (11-2009) Catalog Number 21096G),, 2009
  2. Keith S. Blair, JD, “Praying for a Tax Break: Churches Political Speech and the Loss of Section 501c3 Tax Exempt Status,” (143 KB) Denver University Law Review, Feb. 2009
  3. Averil Cameron, PhD, The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 12: The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193-337,, 2005
  4. Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe, PhD, “Christianity and the Roman Empire,”, Feb. 17, 2011
  5. Warren E. Burger, LLB, US Supreme Court opinion, Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York,, May 4, 1970
  6. Michael Hatfield, JD, “Ignore the Rumors—Campaigning from the Pulpit Is Okay: Thinking Past the Symbolism of Section 501(c)(3),” (2.1 MB) Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 2006
  7. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, “Politics and the Pulpit 2008,”, 2008
  8. Sarah Netter, “Satanist Church Rents Out Oklahoma City Civic Center for Exorcism,”, Sep. 1, 2010
  9. Jeff Schweitzer, PhD, “The Church of America,”, Oct. 11, 2011
  10. Independent Budget Office of the City of New York, “City’s Multitude of Property Tax Exemptions Add Up to a Wealth of Revenue Foregone,”, July 15, 2011
  11. David Seifman, “New York City’s Losing $13.5B in Property-Tax Breaks,”, July 16, 2011
  12. Erik W. Stanley, JD, “IRS Rules Don’t Trump the Constitution,”, Sep. 8, 2008
  13. John Marshall, US Supreme Court opinion, McCulloch v. Maryland,, 1819
  14. Austin Cline, MA, “Tax Exemptions Available to Churches,” (accessed Nov. 10, 2011)
  15. John J. DiIulio, Jr., PhD, “The Value of Nonprofits,” America magazine, Feb. 7, 2011
  16. Don Boys, PhD, “Should Churches Pay Taxes?,” Cornerstone Communications USA (Common Sense for Today) website,, 1997
  17. Brian Quinn, “Should Churches Pay Property Taxes?,”, Mar. 1, 2011
  18. Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New YorkPDF logo,, May 4, 1970
  19. Erik W. Stanley, JD, “Should Churches Be Taxed?,”, Mar. 10, 2010
  20. Scott Tibbs, “Should Churches Pay Taxes?”, June 24, 2009
  21. National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), “Quick Facts About Nonprofits,”, 2009
  22. Nicole Neroulias, “Study: Churches Inching Back from Recession,”, Apr. 20, 2011
  23. Austin Cline, MA, “Religious Tax Exemptions vs. Government Policy: When Charities Aren’t Charitable,” (accessed Nov. 10, 2011)
  24. William O. Douglas, LLB, US Supreme Court dissenting opinion, Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York PDF logo,, May 4, 1970
  25. Barry W. Lynn, JD, “Why Don’t Churches Pay Taxes?: Counterpoint,”, Sep. 23, 2008
  26. Mark Twain, Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1935
  27. William H. Rehnquist, LLB, US Supreme Court Opinion, Regan v. Taxation with Representation,, May 23, 1983
  28. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “IRS Warns of ‘Corporation Sole’ Tax Scam,”, Mar. 29, 2004
  29. Richard Behar, “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power,”, May 6, 1991
  30. Douglas Frantz, “Scientology’s Puzzling Journey from Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt,”, Mar. 9, 1997
  31. Robert H. Jackson, US Supreme Court dissenting opinion, Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing,, Feb. 10, 1947
  32. Karl Taro Greenfeld, “God Wants Me to Be Rich,”, July 16, 2008
  33. L. Christopher Smith, “Scientology’s Money Trail,”, Nov. 19, 2008
  34. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Charities, Churches and Politics,”, Oct. 19, 2011
  35. Andy Birkey, “Few Consequences Currently Faced by Pastors Who Endorse from Pulpit,”, Oct. 6, 2011
  36. Kathy Lohr, “Senator Probes Megachurches’ Finances,”, Dec. 4, 2007
  37. Carl Gregg, MDiv, “Against ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ (Unless Churches Pay Their Taxes First!)”, Oct. 2, 2011
  38. Bruce R. Hopkins, The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations, 10th edition, 2011
  39. Edwin S. Gaustad, Church and State in America, 2nd edition, 2003
  40. “Tax Exemptions of Religious Property,” (accessed Nov. 10, 2011)
  41. Diana B. Henriques, “Religion-based Tax Breaks: Housing to Paychecks to Books,”, Oct. 11, 2006
  42. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Exempt Organizations User Fees – 2011,”, Oct. 20, 2011
  43. Kimberly Winston, “Atheists Target Clergy Housing Tax Break,”, Sep. 20, 2011
  44. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Topic 417 – Earnings for Clergy,”, Sep. 23, 2011
  45. Paul H.K. Hageman, “An Examination of Religious Tax Exemption Policy Under Section 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code,” Valparaiso University Law Review, Winter 1983
  46. Paul Arnsberger, Melissa Ludlum, Margaret Riley, and Mark Stanton, “A History of the Tax-Exempt Sector: An SOI Perspective,” Statistics of Income Bulletin,, Winter 2008
  47. Trinidad v. Sagrada Orden,, Jan. 14, 1924
  48. William J. Brennan, Jr., US Supreme Court concurring opinion, Walz v. Tax Commission of City of New York,, May 4, 1970
  49. Madison C. Peters, “Why Church Property Should Be Taxed,” 1894, Cornell University Library archive, (accessed Nov. 10, 2011)
  50. Humanist Society of Gainesville, “Religion on Welfare: The Case for Taxing Churches in Alachua County,”, 1993
  51. Elizabeth Livingston, “A Bright Line Points Toward Legal Compromise: IRS Condoned Lobbying Activities for Religious Entities and Non-Profits,” Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Spring 2008
  52. US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Exemption Requirements – Section 501(c)(3) Organizations,”, Nov. 15, 2010
  53. University of Virginia Religious Freedom Page, “Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York, 397 U.S. 664,” (accessed Nov. 10, 2011)
  54. Douglas Frantz, “$12.5 Million Deal with I.R.S. Lifted Cloud Over Scientologists,”, Dec. 31, 1997
  55. Matthai Kuruvila, “Tax-exempt Benefit Disputed in Prop. 8 Campaign,” San Francisco Chronicle website, Nov. 28, 2008
  56. Sandhya Bathija, “Mormon Might: LDS Church Leaders Have Inappropriate Government Role in Utah,” Americans United for Separation of Church and State website,, Jan. 27, 2009
  57. Dan Merica, “Pastor Who Endorsed Perry Accused of Breaking Tax Rule,”, Oct. 12, 2011
  58. Laura Bly, “On a Wing and a Prayer,”, Jan. 26, 2006
  59. “A Pastor’s Salary,” Crown Financial Ministries website (accessed Nov. 29, 2011)
  60. Erwin Chemerinsky, JD, “The Parsonage Exemption Violates the Establishment Clause and Should Be Declared Unconstitutional,” Whittier Law Review, 2003
  61. Warren Bird, “2010 Large Church Salary and Benefits Report: An Illustrated Leadership Network Research Study,” Leadership Network website, 2010
  62. Laura Saunders, “Tax Break for Clergy Questioned,” Wall Street Journal website, Aug. 23, 2011
  63. “Senate Finance Committee, Minority Staff Review of World Changers Church International (WCCI) (Creflo and Taffi Dollar),”, Jan. 5, 2011
  64. Michael Luo, “Preaching a Gospel of Wealth in a Glittery Market, New York,”, Jan. 15, 2006
  65. US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Commissioner of IRS v. Philip A. Driscoll and Lynn B. Driscoll, a.k.a. Donna L. Driscoll,, Feb. 8, 2012
  66. Gregory Korte and Fredreka Schouten, “Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Doesn’t Change Law on Political Activity,”, May 4, 2017


Kara Backus, “All Saints Church and the Argument for a Goal-Driven Application of Internal Revenue Service Rules for Tax-exempt Organizations,” Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Winter 2008

David Barton, Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, 2000

Austin Cline, MA, “Tax Exemptions and Religion: Index of Court Decisions,” (accessed Oct. 26, 2011)

Crown Financial Ministries, “Tax Exemption for Churches,” (accessed Nov. 1, 2011)

“God Knows – But the IRS Doesn’t,” The Economist, Jan. 27, 2011

Sarah A. Lindquist, JD, “Property Tax Exemptions for the Nontraditional Church: How Do We Grant Tax Exemptions to Places of Worship and Not Amusement Parks,” Florida State University Law Review, Summer 2006

Michael Rozeff, PhD, “How the Power to Tax Destroys,” Ludwig von Mises Institute website,, June 29, 2005

Ray Suarez, MA, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America, 2006