Churches take in tons of money each week, and they don’t have to pay taxes on them.
But because of the recession, they’re not taking in as much as they used to. Therefore, they have to lay off some of their staff members. And the tax exemption is coming back to bite them in the ass:
Take Granger Community Church, a nondenominational megachurch with 60 staff members. With its annual revenue down a half-million dollars since 2006, the church found itself with little choice but to eliminate eight positions and cut the weekly hours of fifteen additional employees, said executive pastor Tim Stevens.
Making the predicament more difficult is that the Granger congregation, like most churches and many nonprofit ministries nationwide, does not pay unemployment taxes. The exemption for these religious organizations means that laid-off staff generally do not qualify for unemployment benefits.
So someone who has given their life to a church may be facing a rougher time during unemployment as a result.
How do churches explain this to their staff members? I wonder.
Would the people have been better off working elsewhere? I doubt they would say yes, but it’s gotta be difficult in their situation.