Federal Judge Strikes Down Clergy Tax-Free Housing Money

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A federal judge in Wisconsin has struck down a longstanding law that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances. The judge said such an exemption is unconstitutional because it provides an unfair benefit to religious people and no one else. The case is expected to be appealed. If it stands, it would impact nearly 44,000 clergy from many different religions, possibly cutting their take-home pay by up to 10 percent. The ruling does not affect tax exemptions for parsonages and other congregation-owned housing.