Woot! This is big news.
U.S. District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that the so-called “parish exemption,” which allows religious ministers to avoid paying taxes on the value of their housing granted to them by their religious employers, “violates the establishment clause” of the U.S. Constitution and must be discontinued.
The tax exemption was estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers $2.3 billion from 2002-2007 alone, likely more in the years since.
We'll have to wait for the appeals process to play out, but if this goes through it's sure a step in the right direction.
Me, I'd still like to know what pastors actually do to earn all this compensation. They go around spouting off half-baked opinions about the bible, you can get that at any corner barroom for free. Tax the shit out of them.