Montreal is now taxing churches for the first time ever.
Churches in Montreal will be subject to taxes like every other business thanks to changes in the law.
In the past, religious buildings had exemption from the same kind of tax laws as everybody else, but no longer.
Organized religious bodies remain some of the most wealthy organisations in the world.
They have managed to survive for thousands of years on the notion that they are different from other money making businesses because of their links with God. For this reason, they have become some of the richest groups in the world.
CTV Montreal reports:
“Joel Coppetiers, the Minister at the Cote des Neiges Presbyterian church, was shocked when his institution first received a municipal tax bill…
“The indication is there’s not an exemption for the church as a whole, there’s only an exemption for those areas used for public worship and things directly related to it,”
Many churches act like they barely have enough money to pay the bills, but the Catholic Church for example is estimated to be worth around $30 billion.
Because religion is still such a sensitive subject, many people have steered clear of offending certain religions in any way they can.
The taxing of religion is a sore subject, but many people have welcomed the new change which means that churches will have to pay their own way.
A report by the Secular Policy Institute found that because of the lack of tax on churches, the taxpayer had to fork out over $71 billion.
From the report:
“Each year religious groups receive $35.3 billion in federal income tax subsidies and $26.2 billion property tax subsidies.
In addition, religious organizations also enjoyed approximately $6.1 billion in state income tax subsidies, along with $1.2 billion of parsonage, and $2.2 billion in the faith-based initiatives subsidy.”
Today the world is very different from when these churches were set up hundreds of years ago. The world is still very accepting of an individuals choice of faith, but that churches should be considered as the money-making businesses that they are.
Comedian Bill Maher said:
“Why, in heaven’s name, don’t we tax religion? A sexist, homophobic magic act that’s been used to justify everything from genital mutilation to genocide. You want to raise the tax on tobacco so kids don’t get cancer, OK. But let’s put one on Sunday school so they don’t get stupid.”