Political Science Professor at Southern Illinois University
Pro to the question "Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?"
"If we tax churches, then we will need to tax all not-for-profit organizations. Government may exempt churches from property taxes and other taxes so long as they do so for other charities. There are some who argue that, as in the case of religious groups on public campuses (Rosenberger v UVA), government can’t select just religious groups to tax while leaving all other organizations like schools, women shelters, soup kitchens, and fraternal organizations tax-exempt...
To tax churches, government would need to have the (currently unconstitutional) authority to audit and regulate churches. Income is revenue minus expenses. So, to tax revenue, the government has rules about what counts as legitimate business expenses and regulations on how businesses perform their accounting. The government may also audit organizations. To do this for churches means that the government would define what is and is not legitimate and then act to ensure compliance. This raises a constitutional issue as Congress cannot make laws that affect the free exercise of religion."
"5 Reasons We Should Never Tax Churches, Even If John Oliver Is Right," religionnews.com, Aug. 26, 2015
Experts Individuals with JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to churches and taxes. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the churches and taxes issue.
Involvement and Affiliations:
Professor, Political Science, Southern Illinois University, 2012-present
Interim Department Chair, Political Science Department, Southern Illinois University
Associate Editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2012-present
Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, 2006-2012
Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, 2001-2006
Graduate Research Assistant, The Ohio State University, 1997-2000
PhD, Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2001
MA, Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2001