CHICAGO (TAB) — In November 2013 a federal court ruled that clergy had to pay taxes on part of their income designated as a housing allowance. The ruling said the former allowance of avoiding the tax violated the constitutionality mandated by separation of church and state. But the Justice Department appealed that ruling Jan. 24, filing a notice of appeal with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Last fall, Senior United States District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that a section of the tax code granting a benefit for “ministers of the gospel” not available to everyone else favors religion over non-religion, according to abpnews.com. If the Seventh Circuit Court affirms Crabb’s ruling it would affect only Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana (locations of her jurisdiction). If the ruling is overturned, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which filed the suit, could appeal to the Supreme Court.
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