October 9, 2006

Religious institutions in the US...

...have long had special rights. No property taxes, non-profit status even when they build theme-parks, salons, and bookstores. They aren't subject to OSHA, state child protection, EEO, or EPA guidelines. Recent iterations of the federal government have funnelled more money to the churches (under the banners of "stop abuse of xtians" and "faith-based initiatives) and given them additional right beyond those of individuals, non-profits (that are non-religious), and corporations.

The New York Times is running a series of articles on these issues. The first two have appeared already.

Why shouldn't churches pay property taxes? They receive fire protection, police protection, and are connected to city water, gas, and sewers where applicable. Here in Minneapolis, they run apartment buildings, a nightclub, and bookstores and repay nothing to their community. A sorry state of affairs.

Addedon October 10th: The third part of the story, with a focus on property taxes and tax breaks for those with religious affiliations.

Posted by duver001 at October 9, 2006 11:09 AM