Thursday, January 30, 2014

Church considering IRS parsonage-exemption court case

From ENS-

In the wake of the U.S government’s decision to appeal a federal district judge’s decision that the Internal Revenue Service’s clergy parsonage exemption is unconstitutional, members of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations, in collaboration with the Presiding Bishop’s Office, are considering whether the church should lend its voice to the appeal and, if so, how that might best be done.

It is expected that a number of religious groups will file amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Episcopal Church staff members will be discerning which of those briefs, if any, most strongly presents the voice of the religious community on the issue, Office of Government Affairs Director Alex Baumgarten told ENS. They will also consider how other denominations and inter-denominational organizations plan to respond, and they will consult the bishop and chancellor of the Diocese of Milwaukee in which the case arose, he said.

Meanwhile, the Church Pension Group has posted a statement on its website saying that it is monitoring the case and noting that U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb specified in her Nov. 21 ruling that the decision would not be effective until all appeals were resolved in favor of the plaintiffs.

More here-

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