Earlier this week, A Federal Appeals Court in Chicago dismissed a case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation challenging the tax exemption for clergy housing. This reversed the decision of US District Judge Barbara Crabb who had ruled the exemption unconstitutional in 2013. The decision of the Appeals Court to overturn Crabb’s ruling was not based on the merits of the case, but because they found the Foundation had no standing to file the case in the first place.
The law lets “ministers of the gospel” avoid paying income taxes on compensation that is designated part of a housing allowance. They can then use the untaxed income to pay rental housing costs or the costs of home ownership, including mortgage payments and property taxes.
For background on the history of the clergy housing tax exemption, see this article
What are your thoughts on this as well as on the whole issue of tax exemption for churches?
posted by Jon White