Many atheists have long questioned whether religious groups should be tax exempt. The article below claims that the U.S. is passing up 71 billion dollars in revenue by not taxing churches, temples and mosques. It is further estimated:

* States bypass an estimated $26.2 billion per year by not requiring religious institutions to pay property taxes.

* Capital gains tax exemptions for religious institutions may be as much as $41 million a year.

* U.S. clergy may claim as much as $1.2 billion in tax exemptions annually via the parsonage allowance.

There are even voices from within religion uncomfortable with the trading off the ability to endorse candidates that embody their message to receive tax exempt status.

As a pastor I am grateful that our little community and other non-profit groups don’t have to come up with the money that would go to taxes, but I also think the article raises some fair questions.