Jul 18, 2007

Tax the Churches!

A CPER paper analyzes tax exemptions for philantropy and arrives at a conclusion I like: contributions to churches should not be tax-exempt.
Contributions in areas that have a direct effect on the private asset base of the poor (such as basic health, education, housing, technologies that raise demand for low-skilled labour, etc.) can be seen as substitutes for income redistribution, whereas contributions to public goods that have little income-augmenting effects for the poor (such as churches, museums, sports facilities, parks, private schools and hospitals, etc.) should be seen as complementary to income redistribution. The case for exempting rich philanthropists from expropriation should not be accepted as a matter of course.

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