Derate About Tax Exemption for Churches
Most people accept without question the exemption of church income and property from federal, state and local taxes. Few persons realize, however, that the customary exemption may extend to enterprises and property devoted to purposes far removed from the primary mission of churches. A number of leading clergymen are now asking whether churches should not voluntarily relinquish some of the benefits of tax exemption, not only as a social and moral duty but also to forestall accusations that they have fallen under the influence of mercenary considerations.
Tax exemption is coming to the fore of church deliberations at a time when the constitutional basis of the exemption is being challenged in the courts. In view of recent Supreme Court decisions ...