Clergy members in the United States received good news this week, in the area of housing allowance.
Batts, Morrison, Wales & Lee, certified public accountants who serve The Wesleyan Church, forwarded to General Treasurer Kevin Batman an announcement issued yesterday by the atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation. The group shared its decision not to file an appeal of the clergy housing allowance case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Freedom from Religious Foundation previously filed a federal lawsuit “challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing allowance exclusion.”
The group’s decision against filing an appeal leaves intact the federal income tax exclusion for ministers, including those within The Wesleyan Church.
“Their [Freedom from Religion Foundation] pause is not permanent but is based on the current composition of the Supreme Court,” said Batman. “This means the clergy housing allowance is currently considered constitutional and will be so for the foreseeable future.”
The announcement references the work of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) verifying the constitutionally of the clergy housing allowing exclusion.
“This is great news for pastors and churches,” Batman said. “I’m very grateful for the excellent efforts in our behalf by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). We really can do better together!”
The Wesleyan Church is a member of the ECFA.