SUPREME COURT: Thou Must Pay Thy Taxes

Thou Must Pay Thy Taxes

The word on high is that freedom of religion does not necessarily mean freedom from taxes. So learned the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries last week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states may require religious groups to pay sales tax on the merchandise they sell. The decision upholds previous rulings that forced the Swaggart organization to pay the State of California $183,000 in back taxes and interest on nearly $2 million worth of pamphlets, tapes, records and other items sold to residents between 1974 and 1981.

Lawyers for Swaggart's ministries, supported by religious groups ranging from Protestants to Hare Krishnas,...

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