Pass the collection basket for California

12.16.08 | 2 Comments

It adds up and should be taxed
California should tax the collection basket
Attribution: Associated Content

The California State budget is predicted to have a $11 billion deficit. That’s right, $11,000,000,000. Now, the Democrats don’t want to cut anything and the Republicans don’t want to raise taxes (though they are willing to borrow against the future and misappropriate funds as a solution.) While we can’t solve the entire problem, we can make a significant dent by implementing the following suggestion.

Rescind tax exempt status from churches and have them pay California income taxes like any other business.

Why do this? Well, since god, through his human minions, seems to want to be ever more involved in the state, I think it’s time to stop the free lunch and have god pay the freight. How can this help solve the budget crisis?

Well, let’s do a little math. There are approximately 35 million California residents. According to ABC News, 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. That means that likely around 29 million Californians are Christian. Now, the per capita income for California is $41,571 meaning the total income of the likely Christian population is $1.21 trillion dollars.

According to the scriptures, each Christian is obliged to tithe, or give 10% of their income to the church in god’s name. That means that around $121 billion dollars is flowing into the coffers of California’s churches each year; if, in fact, the faithful are faithful in following the dogma of the church. So, the standard California business tax rate is 10.3% meaning there should be around $12.4 billion dollars in taxable income available each year to help defray state expenses. And, it’s available without any additional increase in taxes to individuals and would preserve a number of key state services.

Now, you’re probably saying “not all of those Christians regularly attend church and probably not all of them give the full tithe” to which I answer, you’re probably right. So let’s discount the rate by 50% to $6.2 billion dollars per year. It’s still worth doing and would only provide benefit to the community at large. And since churches seem to be so concerned with the welfare of others, and it’s in the Christian spirit to give, I don’t see how there could be any credible opposition to such a plan.

So, Arnie, what do you say? It’s $6 billion per year ripe for the picking. Let’s go pluck it!