In light of attempts to strip away tax exemptions from churches, David McRae, candidate for State Treasurer, today emphasized his commitment to religious liberty.

Religious liberty has always been a hallmark of American freedom,” McRae said.  “Yet, it seems these days some on the secular left are using taxes to force religious organizations out of many arenas. Churches should be tax exempt as they have been for most of our history.”

The Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and other Christian groups are encouraging Congress to revoke tax code provisions which enable such taxes.

Specifically, a provision went into effect last year that requires houses of worship and other nonprofits to pay a 21 percent tax on employee benefits.  If unchecked, ERLC says the measure will cost America’s charitable sector an estimated $1.7 billion over 10 years.

 “Because Mississippians cherish faith, Mississippi is often ranked among the most charitable states in our nation per capita,” McRae added.  “We work actively through our churches to address many spiritual and physical needs in our communities.  Those trying to tax churches should understand that doing so not only hurts religious organizations, but also hurts those among us whose needs depend on these ministries.”  

As Treasurer, McRae vowed to explore ways to offset ongoing efforts to tax churches.

“While I don’t believe these new tax provisions will stand indefinitely, we must remain vigilant and fight attempts to impose taxation such as this at all levels of government,” McRae concluded.  “For more than two centuries, religious liberty has been a cornerstone of the American Republic, and it must remain so.”

David McRae Press Release