Community Columnist for the La Crosse Tribune and member of the La Crosse (WI) Area Freethought Society
Con to the question "Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?"
"The problem with granting tax-exempt status to religions and churches as a rule, is that now we have put the government in the role of determining what is a religion and what is not. Who’s to say that a gathering in someone’s living room every Sunday to discuss God is not a religious service?
Should this home be exempt from property taxes, as are thousands of churches, temples and mosques across this country? How many members does a group have to have to be considered a tax-exempt religion? More to the point, are these questions that we want our government asking?...
For every house of worship that is exempt from property taxes, taxpayers have to pay more than they would have if a residence or business were on that same piece of land. Do churches not benefit from the same taxpayer-funded benefits that the rest of us enjoy — protection by the police and fire departments, maintenance of roads to and from their places of worship, etc? Why then should they be exempt from these taxes?"
"Why Are Churches Tax-exempt?," LaCrosseTribune.com, Apr. 15, 2012