Tax Reform Bill--And How You Might Engage It

Many of you may be well acquainted with an entrapment story about taxes put to Jesus:

Some Pharisees and Herodians came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.” So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him. Mark 12.13-17

Jesus avoids their either/or entrapment and provides a puzzling answer that we still wrestle with as our government taxes wage earners while also providing deductions and exemptions from taxable income, including deductions for religious workers.

The Board of Pensions wants you to know that tax reform bill being pushed for immediate passages in the United State Senate will affect clergy, religious workers, and lay church workers in the following ways:

  • Eliminating catch-up contributions to church 403(b) plans and employer contributions after concluding service
  • Costs of moving expenses
  • Employer-provided higher education income assistance
  • Adoption reimbursement assistance
  • Dependent care assistance

You may find suggested letters to Senators and contact information. They may or may not know that religious workers across the country, including some of their own, will be impacted by their vote. It is days away from passage or defeat.

Many of us have many additional reasons to question and oppose the changes that adversely impact healthcare mandates, children, the middle class, and poor. There are numerous websites you can consult. Nothing is more important than your contacting your Congressional representatives now. Votes are being lined up now for Senate passage, especially among those previously inclined to defeat the bill.