Some folks resist the notion churches are just another part of the marketplace. In Germany, a new tax on churches is causing people to resign their church memberships.
The German church-going public is making it clear the money for church involves a cost-benefit calculation just like a car or house payment. When the price goes up, people buy less religion.
One wonders what people think about the scripture which says a tithe is part of the faith. Perhaps they conclude certain parts of the Bible are to taken literally, but not the tithing part.
In Germany there is an increase in taxes on churches. The link calls the tax a capital gains tax, but it sounds like our own property tax. Some churches in Fargo complain about being required to pay special assessments, which are a type of tax for roads and other infrastructure. Mostly, the churches take advantage of everyone else by using free police, fire protection, building inspection, schools and general local government.
If churches in the U. S. paid their fare share for the government services they use, would it affect their membership numbers? Certainly, the German experience suggests the size of church membership comes partly from the subsidy of churches by local governments.
Churches can avoid taxes for one reason. Politics. Churches have had political influence others envy.
Maybe the German experience will cause U. S. politicians to see they can make churches pay their fair share and not suffer political consequences.