The Law: No Tax on Religion

The value of U.S. church and synagogue property has grown to an estimated $102 billion—all of it tax exempt. New York City alone forgives $36 million a year in potential taxes on church property. Though such exemptions are as old as the republic, even some churchmen have lately questioned the practice. Critics view it as an indirect subsidy that hikes taxes for other property owners and violates the First Amendment because it amounts to state support of religion.

The Supreme Court has consistently rebuffed attempts to raise the issue including an appeal brought by...

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