A few days before Christmas, Congress gave churches and other nonprofits a break by repealing the so-called "parking lot tax" that was an unintended side effect of the 2017 Republican tax cut measure. President Donald Trump signed the repeal into law.
The measure would have required houses of worship and other nonprofits to pay a 21 percent tax on employee benefits such as parking spaces and transit subsidies, according to the website CatholicPhilly.com.
The repeal was a part of appropriations bills for the new year, passed by both the House and Senate. The bill requiring the repeal was sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ). Since the bill is retroactive, the IRS will provide instructions on how churches can claim a refund on taxes they paid for the last two years because of the "parking lot tax."
Churches and evangelical leaders praised the government's action.
"This repeal comes as a welcome relief for millions of Americans, lifting this burden from nonprofits and houses of worship around the country," said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "Churches must never again be seen as untapped sources of government revenue."
Moore also thanked House and Senate leaders, as well as other elected officials, who "worked hard on this issue. And I'm glad to see the President formalize this repeal with his signature."
"In these contentious days, finding a bipartisan area of agreement in Congress is worth celebrating," he said.