Taxing the Church: Religion, Exemptions, Entanglement, and the Constitution

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 09 Nov 2017
This book explores the taxation and exemption of churches and other religious institutions, both empirically and normatively. This exploration reveals that churches and other religious institutions are treated diversely by the federal and state tax systems. Sectarian institutions pay more tax than many believe. In important respects, the states differ among themselves in their respective approaches to the taxation of sectarian entities. Either taxing or exemptingchurches and other sectarian entities entangles church and state. The taxes to which churches are more frequently subject - federal Social Security and Medicare taxes, sales taxes, real estate conveyance taxes - fall on the less entangling end of the spectrum. The taxes from which religious institutionsare exempt - general income taxes, value-based property taxes, unemployment taxes - are typically taxes with the greatest potential for church-state enforcement entanglement. It is unpersuasive to reflexively denounce the tax exemption of religious actors and institutions as a subsidy. Tax exemption can implement the secular, non-subsidizing goal of minimizing church-state enforcement entanglement and thus be regarded as part of a normative tax base. Taxing the church or exempting the church involves often difficult trade-offs among competing and legitimate values. On balance, our federal system of decentralized legislation reasonably make these legal and tax policy trade-offs, though there is room for improvement in particular settings such as the protection of internal church communications and the expansion of the churches' sales tax liabilities.
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ISBN-13: 9780190853952
ISBN-10: 0190853956
Pagini: 280
Dimensiuni: 164 x 242 x 25 mm
Greutate: 0.52 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


Comprehensive in its scope, yet nuanced in its analysis, Taxing the Church deftly explores the tensions between church and state in the tax context and offers a pragmatic path towards an appropriate resolution of these tensions by focusing on the question of church/state 'enforcement entanglement.' In an era of political and social polarization, in which church/state conflicts often generate more heat than light, Zelinsky has provided us with precisely whatthe debate needs: a commendably balanced, characteristically thoughtful, and highly original elucidation of the problem of taxing religious institutions." Walter Hellerstein, Distinguished Research Professor, Francis Shackelford Professor of Taxation, University of Georgia School of Law
Advocates on both sides of the religious exemption divide would be well served by reading this book and pondering its arguments.

Notă biografică

Edward A. Zelinsky is the Morris and Annie Trachman Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University where he lectures on tax law. He is a graduate of Yale College, Yale Law School, and the Yale Graduate School. Professor Zelinsky's articles have appeared in the nation's most well-known legal journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and the Columbia Law Review. He isthe author of The Origins of the Ownership Society: How the Defined Contribution Paradigm Changed America (Oxford University Press, 2007), and he is a regular contributor to the OUP blog.