How Long Before We Start Taxing Churches?
By DANNY TYREE
April 20, 2016
Citing "sin taxes" on alcohol and tobacco, the enlightened Maher strongly suggested a tax on Sunday school, which allegedly harms kids by making them stupid. Sunday school has only sharpened my son Gideon's reasoning abilities; but just for the sake of argument, let's concede Maher's point and double down on the stupidity by installing a "boob tube" in every Sunday school class. ("Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every gem that proceedeth out of the mouth of Celebrities.")
I think the majority of atheists, agnostics and lapsed worshippers are tolerant people willing to view religion with bemusement. They see the value of soup kitchens, homeless shelters and moral teachings and balk at killing the goose that laid the golden egg. But the embittered rabble rousers are basically a bunch of Mr. Potters from "It's A Wonderful Life." When it comes to tax collections, it's like Jimmy Stewart said: "You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you."
Churches are vilified for being "subsidized" in the perpetuation of "myths". Let's levy a big tax on people who perpetuate myths such as "Throwing money at poverty cures it."
Here's an article loaded with rationalizations for taxing religion:
The God Business:
Questioning Tax Exemptions
Let's look at the city of Vancouver. The majority of people who live here are hard-working, middle-income citizens, who struggle to keep some earnings for recreation after all necessities are paid. Is it really fair to ask these people to subsidize major land holders in their community, particularly when these land holders represent big business firms which are considerably more wealthy than the taxpayers who now support them.
After researching church property assessment figures for our Greater Vancouver, B.C. area which includes the city and 11 surrounding municipalities with a population of about 1.3 million, the loss of revenue to the communities becomes apparent. The tax exempt assessed value of churches in the 12 areas totals $854,738,500! The average residential mill rate for the group is 7.309. This represents foregone tax revenue of $6,247,280. If we do rough calculations to include the whole country we conclude that the religious loopholers are getting away without paying taxes of about $160,000,000 in Canada. We wonder why cash- starved local governments don't jump at the chance to ask the churches to participate in the community instead of riding free.