Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

23 October 2013

Germans are Taxed if Members of an Institutional Religion

While I am often a severe critic of the American government and its many violations of individual rights, it is also objective to understand that many governments are even worse.  For instance, if one is a member of a congregation in Germany, that church collects taxes from you as an appendage to the state income tax.  This is not a voluntary tax, except insofar as one may choose to be a congregation member or not.  The tax is 8% or 9% of income depending upon the German state one is in.  It is not surprising that the population of congregation members in Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany is dropping by 100,000 people a year.

It would be difficult to be able to afford being in a church congregation on top of the already heavy state and federal taxes, the high cost of home ownership, the high cost of German goods and services, and the high cost of energy in Germany.  Consumer Prices are 15.56% higher in Germany than in the United States.  The Average Monthly Disposable Salary After Taxes is 13.86% lower in Germany than in the US.  It does not help at all that the German government has many laws and regulations that keep each of these costs high, including a tax on those who exercise their infringed freedom of conscience by being a member of a church congregation.

I suppose you could look upon the church member tax as a penalty tax for bad behavior, such as that the Democrat Socialists in the USA applies to those who do not buy the health insurance with the 10 essential benefits that most of us to not need.  Of course the religions really are immoral and irrational, while buying a different health insurance plan than that mandated is generally both moral and rational.  So one can look upon the German congregation tax as a state imposed sin tax.  Nonetheless, it is a violation of the right to freedom of conscience.  After all, while it is not wise to actually sin, it is often a right to do so.  Of course I am using my own definition of sin, not that of a church.

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