Missing the point


This is in response to the letter “Tax-exempt secrecy” published on May 31.

Tax exempt organizations are not subsidized by the tax payer. At no time does the government transfer funds from the public coffers to a church, religious group, Boy Scouts or any other organization filing for a tax exempt status. Instead, the government simply refrains from taking money from them.

Tax exemptions are open-ended in that the actual amount varies based upon how much supporters wish to contribute. There is no fixed amount as with subsidies. Tax exemptions also do not cause an organization to become an agency of the state in the same way that the direct payments of a subsidy can. Receiving a tax exemption is not like being on the public payroll.

All Americans should be angered by the IRS’s abuse of power. Is it appropriate for one political party to use the IRS to silence opponents who hold different viewpoints on vital public policy matters? If this were a Republican president and the IRS had been targeting liberal groups, you would be screaming foul from the rooftops.

Tax exempt organizations like the Boy Scouts, religious groups and groups that are deemed to provide some sort of social or public service, are within the law in filing for a tax exempt status. Whether you personally agree with their agenda or not is inconsequential. If you can’t see what the IRS did as troubling, you are most certainly missing the point.

Kathleen Kohn

Iron Mountain