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Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:26 AM

 

The Yearly Cost of Religious Tax Exemptions: $71,000,000,000 [View all]

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-cost-of-religious-tax-exemptions-71000000000/

The Yearly Cost of Religious Tax Exemptions: $71,000,000,000

We know churches get tax exemptions, but how much money does that actually come out to?

University of Tampa professor Ryan T. Cragun along with students Stephanie Yeager and Desmond Vega ran some calculations and figured out a number:

While some people may be bothered by the fact that there are pastors who live in multimillion dollar homes, this is old news to most. But here is what should bother you about these expensive homes: You are helping to pay for them! You pay for them indirectly, the same way local, state, and federal governments in the United States subsidize religion — to the tune of about $71 billion every year.


So… chump change.

Their article (with a defense of how they calculated the amount) appears in the June/July 2012 issue of Free Inquiry.

“The issue of religious tax preferment is especially relevant now because the number of Americans living outside any religious tradition continues to grow,” said Tom Flynn, Free Inquiry’s editor. “That underscores the unfairness of taxing all Americans to subsidize religious institutions that only some Americans utilize.”


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