Wisconsin News

Judge strikes down law relating to clergy

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal judge has struck down a law that gives clergy members tax-free housing allowances.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the decision could have far-reaching financial ramifications for pastors, who currently don't pay income taxes on compensation that is designated part of a housing allowance.

In her Friday decision, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said the exemption is a boon to ministers. She wrote that the exemption: "provides a benefit to religious persons and no one else, even though doing so is not necessary to alleviate a special burden on religious exercise."

The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit against U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and acting IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel. No one from those federal agencies immediately responded to emails sent Saturday by The Associated Press.

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