Calls To Tax All Churches Or Make Them Refund COVID-19 Aid Gain Traction
The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 11 million people, claiming more than 526,000 lives across the world. The pandemic has also taken its toll on businesses and most are struggling to keep the lights on.
The catholic church received at least $1.4 billion in COVID Bailout Funds. COVID bailout funds were intended to help businesses and non-profits that are struggling in the midst of the pandemic — the kind of businesses that wouldn’t be able to survive without an injection of cash to keep workers afloat.
The Catholic Church may be one of the largest beneficiaries of all. According to Associated Press, The organization received at least $1.4 billion in aid — and possibly more than $3.5 billion — including to churches that have paid out sexual abuse settlements or filed for bankruptcy. The AP has accounted for at least 3,500 separate loans.
Calls To Tax All Churches Or Make Them Refund COVID-19 Aid
A petition to tax all churches or make them refund COVID-19 aid gains traction. The petition to the U.S House of Representatives argues that:
The Catholic church has just received approximately 1.4 billion dollars in taxpayer funds through lobbying. It is a violation of the first amendment where it specifically states a separation of church and state.
Religious groups persuaded the Trump administration to free them from a rule that typically disqualifies an applicant with more than 500 workers.
Without this preferential treatment, many Catholic dioceses would have been ineligible because — between their head offices, parishes and other affiliates — they exceed the 500-person cap.
The petition also stated that until churches are taxed as businesses they should not receive taxpayer backed funds, and if they want to keep tax exempt status they need to refund the money they have been given.
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