Why Clergy Should Get Some Kind of Special Entitlement for Housing?

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Please tell me why clergy should get some kind of special entitlement for housing? I think it is one of the most ridiculous perks ever devised by the legislature. There is absolutely no reason why clergy should get this. And I am one.

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Tradition, Hal!  TRADITION!. 

Community Builder

I think it is the same reason farmers and dairymen get subsidies as well as large oil companies.  They simply could not make a profit without it.

Larry

I think most congregations, ( finance committees), take that perk into consideration when working out compensation for pastors. Then there is the "entitlement issue" that comes with entrenched tax codes that naturally develope over time.

The real losers, if there are any, are the taxpayers 

 

Participant

answer: in recognition of the public good they and their congregations perform.  If it weren't for pastors and churches helping the poor and needy, where would society be?  Who speaks at the senior's homes, has an open door for anyone from the community, listens to people in trouble, prays at the veterans memorial service, performs funerals for anyone who asks?  A pastor.   They perform a valuable social service usually at no cost and society recognizes this by giving them a tax break.  It is not ridiculous at all.

Remember too that ordained clergy, if they live in a parsonage, have to pay social security taxes on the rental value of their homes--and they pay it at the individual level (i.e., 14% or something like that). If they get a housing allowance where they can purchase their own home, same thing. So neither a parsonage nor a housing allowance is a "free ride" for them. Especially those who live in a parsonage, who pay social security on the rental value of their home, end up retired with a mortgage or paying rent for an apartment for the first time in their lives.

And maybe I could throw this in the hopper. Clergy have the same numberof years of education as lawyers and doctors, and they have the same demands on their time. But I don't think their compensation is comparable in the least.