Appeals Court Defends Housing Tax Exemption for Clergy

Barb Wire

Chicago, IL — Voting unanimously, a federal appeals court in Chicago dismissed a lawsuit from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) aimed at bullying pastors and priests. At issue was a FFRF lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service over a provision that allows for an exemption for a parsonage: “In the case of a minister of the Gospel, gross income does not include … the rental value of a home furnished to him as part of his compensation.”

Working with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, submitted an amicus brief to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue.

“Since the founding of America, society has protected ministers and churches from the government-imposed tax burdens because of their charitable work and benefit to society,” said Staver. “This court continues the tradition of respecting the role pastors and priests play in our communities.”

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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