Direct Government Church Subsidy

The German government collects an income tax and hands the money over to the churches. The tax is long standing and not quite as outrageous as it first sounds. If you belong to a church you must pay the tax. Your money goes only to your church. If you don’t belong to a church you don’t have to pay it. You don’t get to decide on the amount. If you don’t pay, you can’t belong to the church. About 70% of church revenues come from church tax. This is about €9,200,000,000 EUR (in 2010).

Proponents of the tax say it allows the churches to be independent. They don’t have to bow to consumer pressure with crass entertainments as they do in the USA. It is not just Germany who does this: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland do as well. Romania is considering instituting one. The government is subsidising the churches by collecting the taxes with the full force and authority of the state, using its knowledge of income and forcing a uniform tithe. The good news is, the whole game is backfiring on the churches. They are losing members because members don’t want to pay the tax.

In Canada and the USA, churches and televangelists don’t pay property and income taxes. This means even atheists are forced to subsidise the churches. A church is a type of club. The government should not be funding it.

~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:68)