Browsing Senior Honors Theses by Author "Stryker, Abigail"
An Investigation into Tax-Exemption for Churches and Religious InstitutionsHettler, Barry; Stryker, Abigail; The College at Brockport (2019-05-22)The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides for a separation of Church and State, a right that provides the grounds for churches being exempted from filing and paying their taxes. This right has been defended time and time again in the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices uphold that government and religion need not be intertwined. There are valid arguments both for and against requiring churches to file their taxes and considering the significant portion of the economy that is made up by churches, it is an issue worth looking into. My research concludes that churches should be treated the same as every other individual person, business, and not-for-profit organization in the United States, and be required to file their taxes. Whether they should be paying taxes is a separate issue, but they should at the very least be more transparent about their finances for accountability to the church members and the surrounding community.