Atheists Want The Government To Yank Tax Exempt Status For Churches

06.21.12 | Sarah Harnisch

Atheists are calling on the federal government to end *tax exempt* status for churches. Atheist groups are pointing to a new study by University of Tampa that indicates Washington could raise 70-billion-dollars each year if it started taxing churches. The report factored in the cost of exemptions on property, donations, business enterprises, capital gains, and parsonage allowances. The Counsel For Secular Humanism is promoting the study as a way to take away the religious tax exemption.

Meanwhile, there was a different study just released on charitable giving. Apparently, people are giving more, but not to churches. Giving in the U.S. rose point-9 of a percent to just over $298-billion in 2011.  The report, produced by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, shows religious organizations were the largest type of recipient and took in 32-percent of the charitable total. Though that sounds great, overall giving to religious groups fell 5-percent from 2010.