Monday, October 06, 2008

Church Tax

The New Mexico Independent had a good story on a Pastor in Rio Rancho telling the faithful they had to vote for Republicans because of the bible. He is letting the Internal Revenue Service know that he did so. Is this a dangerous thing for the church? Well not really. They will never lose their non profit status unless a brave person comes forth from outside or inside the IRS to force the IRS to start charging taxes on the churches income. I think the Sandoval County Assessor should also weigh in with some property taxes, but that may be far fetched too. Politicians are just scared of bible thumping folk. This action is part of a larger right wing effort nationwide to further strengthen fundamentalists control on our government. We can't ignore it.

Recently, when three long time legislators lost their seats they sued the non profit organizations that exposed their voting records with violating tax laws. Many bloggers and the media made a big deal out of it, even though the non profits did not endorse any candidate. Once again, they just exposed voting records. This church thing is much more clear cut and hopefully every one will have some comments.


Terrill Richardson said...

How is the leader of a church endorsing a candidate any different than a newspaper endorsing a candidate? I would argue they are not different.

Jim Baca said...

because a newspaper is a for profit enterprise under the tax laws.

kathy a. said...

yes, these churches are definitely starting a fight with the IRS, and the fight isn't freedom of speech -- it is whether they can be tax-exempt *and* endorse specific candidates at the same time.

the law is clear; they cannot. it's no secret they are doing this. they are begging to be taxed, and then they plan to complain when they lose their tax-exempt status.

Prabhu Singh said...

In EspaƱola on the main drive (Riverside) this one Church hung up these Huge banners that say "Life" and a picture of a baby, and something like "Abortion" with a picture of a mutilated fetus.
Under the life banner it has names of Republicans running and under the other it has names of Democrats running.
It seems pretty illegal to me. It's a less than thinly veiled attempt at swinging voters. Plus I just don't want to see those kinds of images. I'm also sure that women who've had to have abortions under durress or really under any circumstance don't want to see those images either.
It's really stupid that people can vote against their own self-interest because of one or two social issues.