image of cashier

Today the City Council of Nome, Alaska will vote on the possible end to a sales tax exemption for houses of worship and nonprofits, according to Nonprofit Quarterly. If passed, Nome would be the first municipality in the US to do away with the exemption.

Facing a budget deficit, the Council spent an hour earlier this month debating possible revenue-generating strategies and decided that ending the church sales tax exemption was their preferred strategy. Because there is nothing the Constitution or in federal law that mandates a tax exemption for religious groups, the vote could easily do away with the niceties of sales tax exemptions.

Critics say that if the measure passes, however, the Nome action would not just affect churches and other religious organizations, but all 501(c) nonprofits in the city, who are often strapped for cash and need every penny for the programs and people they serve, according to Nonprofit Quarterly:

Among the groups that would lose their sales tax exemption would be a pre-school group, a community center, an emergency shelter, and a swim team, as well as Kawerak’s day care, Head Start, employment training, and other program offerings.

The city’s finance director, Julie Liew, estimates that the end of the sales tax exemption for churches and nonprofits would generate $300,000 in revenues for the city, whose population is just 3,797.

  • OooShiny

    Dear sweet baby Jesus in a manger, I LOVE YOU NOME, ALASKA. In honor of your spectacular bravery, from this moment forward I’m naming everything “Nome.” Children, pets, cars, my belly button; everything I love shall hereafter be called Nome.

    • 1bimbo

      you are an inglorious fascist b@st@rd.. yes, please move to north korea, china or russia where you will feel more comfortable

      • OooShiny

        You seem tense.

        • 1bimbo

          indeed..i probably need to relax more after launching a few truth bombs

  • 1GG

    Let’s hope this starts a trend, esp for all tax exemptions for religion.

  • Dodie Peterson

    I disagree with this idea, at least partly. I think non-profit agencies should continue to get the exemption, but churches should not. I also think churches should have to pay income taxes like corporations.

    • Jasmine35

      I agree with you. Churches should have to pay income taxes just like any other business and I don’t think they should be considered a non-profit agency. There are plenty of other non-profit agencies that use their money for the good of all people, churches are not one of them.