Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Nonprofit and religious leaders, including the chairmen of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees, called on Congress to repeal a provision in the 2017 tax cut bill that taxes religious and nonprofit organizations for the cost of parking lots and transit benefits provided to employees.
In a letter March 1 to Democratic and Republican leadership on the House Ways and Means Committee, the religious leaders cited the conclusion of an Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability official who determined that the provision “effectively creates an income tax on churches for the first time in U.S. history.”
The leaders urged Congress to act soon because the affected organizations will begin filing tax forms and paying income tax on parking and transit benefits. The deadline for filing forms is April 15, which is Tax Day.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chair of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, signed the letter along with 10 other religious and nonprofit leaders.
Others sending the letter include Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Shirley V. Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; William C. Daroff, senior vice president for public policy of the Jewish Federations of America; Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; and Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, North American Division.
Darryll K. Jones