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Letters: Don’t let churches keep tax break and become politically active

Don’t let churches keep tax break and become politically active

Buried in the GOP “tax reform” bill is a provision allowing churches and other religious organizations to get actively involved in politics, remain tax-exempt, use church donations to fund candidates and allow parishioners to deduct the political donations from their income taxes.

In 1954 a law was passed banning churches, synagogues, mosques and nonprofit organizations from direct involvement in political campaigns. In return, the religious groups were tax-exempt. What the evangelical churches want is representation without taxation.

If there is megachurch or Catholic diocese that chooses to give up its tax-exempt status in order to have a voice in political campaigns, feel free. You don’t need a new law. Just contact your local tax assessor, your state taxing authority and the IRS. The first agency will happily send you a bill for taxes owed.

The other two will eagerly accept your tax return.

Your participation would also be greatly appreciated by those of us who are tired of shouldering the burden of your tax exemption by the increase that we have to pay for providing you public services.

Larry Finkelstein

East Amherst

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