Quantcast
Utah

Mormon tithing under national media microscope after Mitt Romney releases his financial data

Comments

Return To Article
  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    given all the legitimate reasons not to vote for Romney why worry about his tithings?

  • S.Andrew Zaelit Deseret, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    I can think of nothing better for Romney than to have the national media and the Evangelical Christians to engage in religious scrutiny. Talk about a win win for Romney should this gain traction. Hard core Evangelicals would be exposed for religious bigotry once and for all, and the national media will have to admit that the religious aspect that they overlooked with Candidate Obama should have been vetted more closely. All Romney will have to do is sit back and let it play out.

    The sad part is that charitable donations to religion are very common. Somehow, I doubt donations to the Catholic Church, local Jewish Synagogue, or Evangelical Church would even blip on the radar. I suspect that the national media would write story after story of praise if Obama donated enough of his money to build a church, or if Newt donated a substantial sum to a local Virginia Christian Church. The vast majority of Americans do not care about the religious affiliation as much as the moral and ethical character of the candidate that they support. However, religious bigotry is one of the most difficult character flaws to eliminate.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    S.Andrew

    I agree. At first I was a little weary about bringing religion to the table... but ultimately it might work out in Romney's favor.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    Mormon tithing money goes towards what exactly?

    Let us list those things:
    -Temples
    -Ward/Stake buildings
    -Seminary buildings
    -University system: BYU, BYUI, BYUH
    -Temples
    -Missionaries who can't afford to pay their own way
    -Stipends/salaries for General Authorities
    -City mall in SLC
    -Temples
    -Visitor centers
    -Members' mortgages
    -Temples
    -General Conference
    -Church Educational System
    -Temples

    Did I miss anything?

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    Romney's got nothing to be defensive about regarding being faithful to the requirements of his Church. Surely we'd want our President to demonstrate faithfulness to his/her deepest values.

    But if he became President, Romney would *not* have the right to base his national decisions--e.g., on gay marriage--with the position his Church holds. Rick Santorum has, incredibly, taken his Catholic Church's position into the public arena by saying that *no one* should use contraceptives because "it's not how things are supposed to be."

    I hope Romney has a better understanding of the separation of Church and State, and that, while giving his devotion to both, he respects the boundaries of each.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Jan. 25, 2012 6:06 p.m.

    Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! Romney's taxes revealed that besides his Cayman Islands stash, Mitt, also had a Swiss Bank Account. For being such a genius Romney really has a tin ear when it comes to appearances. By not releasing all of this tax records he has opened the door for his opponents to start a process of "death by a thousand cuts" chorus of requests for the rest of his tax records. Doesn't anyone remember the frothing over Obama's birth certificate? Brace yourselves for the endless theories about what Romney didn't report.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Jan. 25, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    @Thinkman,
    I think you forgot temples.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 25, 2012 7:00 p.m.

    @Thinkman,
    You missed the mark on these two.
    -Stipends/salaries for General Authorities
    -City mall in SLC

    These are funded from a endownment/investment fund growing since the 1920's

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 7:41 p.m.

    Thinkman,

    Add salaries for regular church employees and bureaucrats,
    FamilySearch,
    Large-scale wellfare operations,
    Real-estate,
    Computer systems and office supplies,
    Church fleet and maintenance,
    Travel,
    lots and lots of printing (correlated/standardized curricula, tithing slips, etc., etc),
    Media such as movies and ads,
    and Clothing

    Probably not so much "Mortgages for Members" or "Missionaries who can't afford to pay their own way." Those would come from a local unit's fast offering fund in the former case, or the local missionary fund. There are also general funds for missionary and humanitarian aid in case there is a shortfall in the local unit, but these are separate from tithing funds.

    Gordon B. Hinkley said it best, which I here summarize: Tithing keeps the business/capital end of the church going. It's the corporate revenue stream. The ecclesiastical end of the church (what other religions simply understand to be "church") is funded by whatever additional donations, beyond tithing, the members choose to give.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    S.Andrew Zaelit

    "the national media will have to admit that the religious aspect that they overlooked with Candidate Obama should have been vetted more closely." This subject along with his birth certificate where vetted well beyond reason during the last campaign just because they where proven to be pointless and unfounded does not mean they where not covered. At this point the only people that believe it is an issue are those that will never be convinced no matter what anyone says or does.

  • Neanderthal Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 10:48 p.m.

    @Thinkman:

    "Did I miss anything?"

    Support (groceries, rent, utilities) for the poor and needy.

    And what do contributions by Catholics and Evangelicals go for?

    Mostly preacher's/Priests salaries and benefits... and law suits by sexually molested children (as reported several times in the Deseret News Paper).

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:34 a.m.

    Thinkman,
    You missed LDS Employment centers (my previous point was they accept everyone, I clearly said they did not do a possible exclusionary activity I mentioned, I brought that up because many jobs require it to get highered.)
    2- The Mall in Salt Lake City is receiving no tithing funds towards its building. President Hinckley made that 100% clear.
    3- The stipends the general authorities and some mission presidents recieve are not funded from tithing.

    You also missed the publication of lesson manuals, the creation of audio-visual equitment (such as the New Testament videos), the creation of websites, the ward budgets and many other things.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:37 a.m.

    The claim "tithing should not count as tax deductable because it does not help the needy" is misunderstanding possible tax deducations.

    People can get tax deducations for donating to universities, for donating to non-profit legal advocacy groups, for donating to groups that sponsor the arts and for many other donations to groups that do not have benefitting the poor as their primary, or even as any of their functions.

    On the other hand there are some charities that claim to be helping the poor but actually function more to give large salaries to their employees. This is the point people make about donations to LDS Humanitarian Services. The money donated there goes 100% to help the poor. Overhead costs are funded from tithing.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:41 a.m.

    Political leaders have the right to base their policy decisions on their moral goals. What they should not do is pass laws that forbid other peoples beluiefs. No candidate for the presidency has advocated such.

    People have the right to seek government regulation of behavior. If you do not like the regulation you favor, that is also your right. However public policy that affects the entire population, such as questions of how the government will think of a family and what purpose the government will ascribe to families, are issues that should be decided by the people through the legislative process and they have a right to use any methods they want to advocate such things, and to hold opinions for any specific reason.

    That said, there is substantial non-religious discussions of why man/woman marriage is the optimal situation.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:44 a.m.

    pmccombs,
    What is the source for your quote?

    Tithing is what keeps the buildings maintained, allows the building of new buildings, allows the publications of Church materials, is a factor in the publication of copies of the Book of Mormon (although there is a Book of Mormon fund) and many other such things. If building Church buildings and temples is not the Church side of the Church, than what is?

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    Thinkman:

    Let us list those things:
    -Temples No
    -Ward/Stake buildings No
    -Seminary buildings No
    -University system: BYU, BYUI, BYUH Definitely not
    -Temples again no
    -Missionaries who can't afford to pay their own way No
    -Stipends/salaries for General Authorities General Authorities are not paid
    -City mall in SLC No
    -Temples No
    -Visitor centers No
    -Members' mortgages Definitely not
    -Temples No
    -General Conference No
    -Church Educational System Maybe
    -Temples No

    You missed a lot.

    liberal larry: He didn't have to release his tax records. That is between him and the Federal Government.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    pmccombs | 7:41 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012
    Orem, UT

    Add salaries for regular church employees and bureaucrats, They are not paid from tithing

    FamilySearch, Isn't paid for by tithing
    Large-scale wellfare operations,
    Real-estate, Is Not paid with tithing
    Computer systems and office supplies, Not paid with tithing
    Church fleet and maintenance,
    Travel, Not paid with Tithing
    lots and lots of printing (correlated/standardized curricula, tithing slips, etc., etc),
    Media such as movies and ads,
    and Clothing Not paid with tithing

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 26, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    All you people who claim all these things are not paid for by tithing, how do you know that? I have yet to see a financial breakdown on how the churchs spends its money,ane from what sources. And if fact, I know that some of these "no" answers are not accurate.

    Can you please provide your source for this information. And if all these things are not paid for with any tithing money, please explain the funding model.

    Frankly Romney's tithing is a non issue here in North Carolina. Most the churches around here have a tithe... nothing new under the sun on this issue.

  • Ponch# OGDEN, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    I think the problem with Mitt's tithing is that it displays non-nominal behavior.

    First, would be LDS church membership. Most people in Florida don't know much about the church. People fear the unknown.

    Second, is the amount and regulation of tithing. It's unusual for people in general to tithe so much of their income, and in such a formalized method (as part of taxes). In catholic church, people just throw a few bucks into a hat for the most part.

    So from the Floridian perspective, some of this may seem kind of weird. Considering my past perspective (I've lived mostly outside of Utah), I would think it unusual, and would approach it apprehensively.

    Of course, in Utah, it's normal behavior.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    The whole subject came up because Newt demanded Mitt release his tax returns before the SC primary. Now we have to discuss Mitt giving away a good portion of his earnings. We see Mitt is consistent with his faith and is charitable person. Mmany have to bash how he shouldn't be able to deduct those amounts or use the legal (capital gains) he qualifies for.

    It is interesting that Newt did not ask for Mitt's tax returns until just after he released his. Who says he should demand the timing of voluntarily releasing tax returns. There is no law that says one has to at all. Other candidates have not yet release theirs. Newt just saw he could get traction from the anti-wealthy feelings of many so he is using the same tactics as the democrats. But Newt's Idea is to eliminate the capital gains tax altogether. Mitt Romney's idea for taxing capital gains is to only allow two hundred thousand dollars of earnings before then taxes would kick in.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    Just to clarify the Thinkman's original post:

    The LDS Church has the following funding sources:
    1. Tithing (voluntary donations of members based on 10% of individual's income)
    2. Fast Offerings (Voluntary donations)
    3. Temple Funds (Voluntary donations)
    4. Missionary Fund (Families paying for their children to serve missions + Voluntary donations of others)
    5. For Profit corporations (privately held entities that pay tax and are legally separate from the Church)
    6. Not For Profit Corporations (privately held entities that perform a variety functions, usually just self-sustaining)
    7. A Variety of other misc donation categories used for specific purposes (these represent a relatively small amount of the over-all funding)

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    -Temples - Tithing and Temple Funds
    -Ward/Stake buildings - Tithing
    -Seminary buildings - Tithing
    -University system: - Some tithing, also Self Funding as Not For Profit
    -Missionaries - Missionary Fund (perhaps some Tithing, but is shouldn't need it)
    -Stipends/salaries - Paid for out of For Profit corporations the Church has owned for a very long time.
    -City mall in SLC - For Profit Corporations
    -Visitor centers - Tithing
    -Members' mortgages - Fast Offering (only)
    -General Conference - Tithing
    -Church Educational System - Salaries paid out of Tithing
    -General Church employees - Tithing
    -FamilySearch - I don't know
    -Wellfare operations - Operational costs: Tithing. Everything else: Fast Offerings and Misc Donations
    -Real-estate - Tithing
    -Computer systems and office supplies - Tithing
    -Church fleet - Tithing
    -Travel - Tithing
    -printing - Tithing
    -Media - since this supports the Church's mission I assume Tithing, but I am not sure.
    -Clothing - If you mean Behive Clothing, that is a Not For Profit entitiy that funds itself (in fact, prices where reduced drastically a few years ago because they were making too much)

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    @John Pack, I simply reference the quote from Pres. Hinkley in the article about "financing the church." The church, of course, is that legal entity, "The Corporation of the Presiding Bishop." I make a distinction between financing the church and, say, financing the poor of the church.

    @snowman, you may be right about some of those categories. Perhaps some of these areas are funded by interest taken on investments and so forth. As UtahBlueDevil said, the Church doesn't reveal its finances... perhaps some truths are best kept away from the light of day. We do get occasional glimpses, though, from the corporate insider who has observed perhaps more than was strictly intended (for instance, anthropologist Daymon Smith).

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Irrespective of how much Romney pays, he just pays 10%, plus any other contribution that he cares to make. If anything, Romnney should be praised for keeping the commmandments, as in the book of Malachi, but Romney getting praise for that what happen any day soon. People seem to be more interested in a shark frenzy feed more that anything else. Perhaps we should be more interested in his policies than his beliefs.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    x2 stories about Mitt Romney's tithing...

    I wonder if the Deseret News will allow this post...

    about how much Romney pays in TAXES...

    **Romney paid $3M in federal income tax in 2010 By Stephen Braun AP Published by DSNews 01/24/12

    At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity about half of that amount to the Mormon Church which helped LOWER his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent...' - article

    Less than I pay in taxes, I know that.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    The article seems to suggest that Romney may not be exact on his 10%. From other articles that have appeared in the DN it is clear that not all of the income is cash. (Stock, etc.) So it is perfectly understandable that the amount contributed may need adjusting in the following year, to match the actual value of the income.
    Sometimes "10% of your increase" is clear, sometimes it is not. If you are receiving distributions from a 401K, for example, how much of it is income? Some of the money received would be withdrawing what you had put in prevously - not income. But some would be income - contributions made by your employer, and interest.
    Defining what is 10% of one's income is left to the individual conscience.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    Pagan,

    "Less than I pay in taxes, I know that."

    You pay more than $3M in taxes? Good for you! Thanks for ponying up, big guy!

  • reenie72 Sierra Vista, AZ
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Good Grief! Why do people worry about what Mormons do with their money and what the authorities in the church do with it? We give VOLUNTARILY because we know where the money goes, believe that is what God would have us do, and are happy to donate it. Why don't you people who are so wound up about others finances find something else to complain about? When was the last time you made a donation to the needy?!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    'You pay more than $3M in taxes? Good for you! Thanks for ponying up, big guy!' - giantfan | 11:33 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012

    No.

    I pay 30% in taxes back to my country.

    More, than Mitt Romney.

    But I guess you don't know what a % of $42 million dollars is...?

    Do you?

  • Dark Reaver SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    Don't care, tithing not relevant outside of the religion it's tithed to.

    This though...
    "Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," Givens told Gilgoff. "And there's never any variation on the 10 percent, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

    A bit excessive to me. Give the children a break, faith is in your heart not your wallet. Childhood is too short, an extra 2 dollar toy they get to choose can lift a child's spirit for days on end. There is a big difference between 10% from a person on welfare and 10% from a millionaire.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Pagan: You must be making big bucks with no deductions, exemptions, etc. As a former tax auditor I know most people in the so-called middle class pay an "effective" tax rate of 15% to 16% even though the tax tables show them at 30% to 35%. Perhaps you need a different accountant.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    I give to the Perpetual Education Fund, tithing and fast offerings.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 26, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    Romney was not hiding his Swiss or Caymans accounts - they were right there on his tax returns.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    'As a former tax auditor I know most people in the so-called middle class pay an "effective" tax rate of 15% to 16% even though the tax tables show them at 30% to 35%. Perhaps you need a different accountant.' - Danish American | 12:36 p.m. Jan. 26, 2012

    I know I certianly don't want you as my accountant.

    Since I cannot verify anything that you say on your post. :)

    Maybe if you presented a

    source,
    date,
    title,
    and person oustide of yourself?

    **'Stop coddling the Super-Rich' - By Warren E. Buffett - NY Times - 08/14/2011

    'But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income and thats actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.' - article

  • Dark Reaver SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    pmccombs
    Orem, UT
    "perhaps some truths are best kept away from the light of day"

    I would sit back and think deeply where that leads.
    Good vs Evil, Light vs Darkness. One finger hidden in the dark is a pair of hands not fully bathed in light. Where one finger leads the rest may follow.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    I'm sad that I didn't see this until now. If I could, I would go back and post my comment first in order to persuade as many as I can of the truth in the principle and act of paying tithing.

    The idea that my giving my 10% to God's church is laughed at, hated, or even considered slightly unreasonable by some religious figures only testifies to the truth in our principle of tithing.

    In the Book of Mormon, Zeezrom tried to trick Amulek in order to destroy him for his own financial gain. Today we also see many criticize the LDS Church. An LDS Bishop, an LDS Missionary, members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the vast majority of Church callings are not compensated financially. We do not pay ourselves but pay God and pay the rest of humanity through service. Yet our financial decisions are in question from people who take income and call it service.

    Anyone in doubt of my argument may read Alma, chapter 11 and then re-read this post.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2012 1:49 p.m.

    I wouldn't say that paying tithing is voluntary. Not when a church believes that the only way you may live with God again is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that the only way you may have an eternal marriage is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that the only way you may have your family in tact eternally is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that it is the eternal perspective that its members should be focusing on (which includes being a full tithe payer). Doesn't really look voluntary to me if you believe the doctrine.

  • justmesal MOUNTAIN VIEW, WY
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:09 p.m.

    To: Danish American. You're right. I've a friend who is an IRS tax auditor. She says that if you count state income and property taxes as well as federal, and you don't give anything to charities, not church or otherwise you would pay close to 30%. I happen to live in a state that does not have state income tax, sales tax is 5% except on food items, there is no tax on food (on non-prepared food that is, there is tax at restaurants or deli foods in a grocery store.), and our property tax like our sales tax is relatively low when looking at what other states near by are paying. What we should be concerned about with Romney's taxes is not what percent he paid but if he pays an honest tax according to the laws. Since I am sure the Government keeps close tabs on the 1% top richest men in America and he wasn't hiding his Cayman Island stash, as Liberal Larry called it, nor his Swiss bank account, maybe that points out to his honesty. Considering Newt's dishonesty-cheating on wives, nice to see some honesty somewhere.

  • Jeff29 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    I am confused by all the those criticizing the amount of taxes that Romney pays. No one seems to be accusing him of illegal activities, but are upset that he only paid 14%. What do you suggest? Should he have not taken his legal deductions? Should he have volunteered to pay more than the required amount for capital gains? He simply paid the legally required amount. Do you expect him to pay more?

    If you think that Romney and others like him should pay more taxes, you should select the candidate who is most likely to simplify the tax code (other than Ron Paul, that person is Romney).

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    Ms Molli,

    A teacher may require you to spend 10% of workload on homework and pass regular tests in order to receive an "A" grade, a pat on the back, and a college credit, and a diploma.

    Assume that a college degree is the only way to get a decent job. I volunteer and willfully (as a free agent) decide to go to college to get that reward. My going to college was in fact voluntary. If it was involuntary I wouldn't have a choice. You can choose God's laws and receive from him. Or you can choose to reject God and receive from the alternative. Just because one is behind a gate of captivity and one behind a golden curtain doesn't take away your choice.

    I say this in respect- It just seems more like you have a problem with God 'placing requirements' on us. Is this true? If so, why is that bad? If not, what else could you mean?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    @ Pagan

    You can reduxe you tax burden, too, by donating to charity. It appears maybe you ought to consider doing that, rather than critisizing other who choose to donate.

    @ Ms Molli

    Going to heaven (using your logic) is indeed voluntary. No one holds a gun to your head to tithe, live the word of wisdom, be faithful to your spouse, go home or visiting teaching, teach a sunday school class, attend church meetings, etc. Its just like no one will force you to be a good neighbor, friend, relative or business associate. And no one will force you to be a "member in good standing" either. You choose for yourself....that's called agency and you enjoy it as do I.

  • hope a lot SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    Can any one tell me the name of"a business,or a church, or any other entities that does not pay a staff to administer their products or believes?" plus the thousands of construction workers,and office workers who are not on welfare because of tithing.
    How about the perpetual education fund, sending many people of other nations to school, the list goes on and on. I love to pay tithing. Irv

  • Dark Reaver SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    I have no issue at all with the idea of voluntary tithe, other then how it ends up spent. Though that is between the religion and it's diety.
    I do find the ideal that amount tithed is tied to the level of eternal salvation, a bit disturbing. Though again, between you and your diety, he/she will determine your judgement, not the religions followers.
    To each their own.
    I do find the thought that God would require any defined level of financial donation related to treatment in afterlife, annoying.
    God's love is free, afterlife would be determind by faith in that, anymore is like buying a plane ticket, will you spend for 1st class or buisness class.
    What do I know though? I'm just man.

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Jan. 26, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    Pagan

    If you paid more in taxes than Mitt Romney, you are a very fortunate person.

  • Axe-man OREM, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    Pagan is mistaken. He claims he pays 30% "back to his country": assume that's federal income taxes and no state, sales, property, or FICA, which go elsewhere than "his country." Assume "Single" for tax status, with minimum standard deduction.

    2011 Single tax brackets:
    10% $0 - $8,500
    15% $8,501 - $34,500
    25% $34,501 - $83,600
    28% $83,601 - $174,400
    33% $174,401 - $379,150

    Pagan claims he pays 30%, which isn't a marginal tax rate, so either he makes over $89,401 ($5,800 standard deduction + 28% minimum) and calls his 28% marginal rate "30%", or his 30% is a lie, or he grossly overpays and needs TurboTax or H&R Block. Calculating tax for marginal rates below his 28%, he only pays 20.4%, and this assumes no 401(k), state tax, or mortgage deductions he may claim. Absolute worst case, earning $89,401 (good money for a single guy in Utah), Pagan pays ~20%.

    The reality is most Americans pay a smaller percentage than Mitt Romney in taxes. Google search "Media Myth 97 percent Americans pay less" or IRSdotGOVslash PUBslash IRS-SOIslash 09in11si.xls.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    @Pagan:

    "At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity about half of that amount to the Mormon Church which helped LOWER his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent...' - article. Less than I pay in taxes, I know that."

    I suspect you paid the tax rate in accordance with, and required by the tax code passed by the US Congress.

    I also suspect that Romney did the same thing... else he surely would have been under audit by the Federal Internal Revenue Service Audit Division.

    To feel that Romney should write a check to IRS for taxes due... then add some additional tax amount according to someone's calculations, is fool hearty.

    Warren Buffet thinks the rich should pay more in taxes. Well, Warren, Write a check and send it in.

    It is understandable why Warren wouldn't mind that the wealthy pay more since his entire wealth, at his death, will be donated to charities. What difference to him if it goes to IRS or a charity?

    I'm sure Mitt (and millions and millions of taxpayers, myself included) would rather their wealth go to descendents instead of the government.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    @Axe-man:

    "Pagan is mistaken."

    Pagan may not be mistaken.

    The tax 'rate' and the 'percentage paid in taxes' could be two different numbers. For example, a single person with $175,000 (2010 year) taxable income will be in the 33% tax bracket but pays only 24% in income tax. That's because income taxes are progressive... the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    What he gives is between him and God. It's only a issue for those who want to make it an issue.

  • DBeck Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 5:53 a.m.

    None of the current field of candidates is without something akin to odd behavior. None of them are without something that screams "don't vote for me." None of them, as is painfully obvious in poll after poll, seems capable of garnering sufficient national votes to win in November. The best the Republicans can do is to hope for a brokered convention where they can essentially start over and mount a serious campaign. These candidates are outdoing each other by pushing everything further right when the country as a whole seems far more moderate or centrist overall. This is one of those inherent problems with our system. Every 4 to 8 years we elect someone who is on the opposite side of the same coin as the previous president. They don't really represent the majority. And even when they stick with their platform as a candidate, they are badmouthed and targeted because people only listen to extremism on the radio.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Jan. 27, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    It is very interesting to see how many of you (who I suspect have nothing to do with the dispersment of church funds) know so much about the dispersement of church funds. I have served as a Bishop and I do not know all about this subject but I can tell you that if a missionary needs help funding his mission, it does not come out of the tithing fund. Most of the time individual member come forward to help. The living allowance for GA's comes out of the taxable funds of the church and if a member needs help with their mortgage or food, that is supplied by the Bishop from the fast offering fund.

    Many commentors bash on the media for not getting the facts right.

    Please, in any of your "reporting", get the facts and not just something you have heard or you think sounds right.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    Pagan,

    So you pay a higher tax rate than Mitt. So what? Is he cheating the system? No. Since the majority of his income is capital gains, taxed at 15%, then he's paying what the system tells him to. Should he really write a check for the difference that you think is appropriate? That's the problem I have with liberals, they're always so eager to spend other people's money.

    Are you also saying that you don't take deductions on your taxes that you're legally entitled to? If you do take legal deductions then please explain the problem here with Mitt? If you don't then the majority of us would consider that incredibly foolish. Either way, you're just plain wrong in your criticism of Mitt.

  • reenie72 Sierra Vista, AZ
    Jan. 27, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Well Thinkman, you did miss a thing or two. Included is Humanitarian Aid in America and all over the world, donations for the poor and needy and many others. Apparently, the government long ago, decided it was a good idea to have Americans help others all over the world and that it was worthy of a tax deduction. Maybe you should try it. I have seen many Mormons working - for nothing, no pay, to help a neighbor or someone on the street, etc. These are people who just care about people. We help even if we can't deduct it when we file our tax. Why are you concerned about this?

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Article is misleading at best. Tithing is NOT under any microscope. Mitt might be, and tithing is a part of that, but LDS tithing is not under fire and won't be and hasn't been. The persecution complex in full swing right now.

  • Kith HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Jan. 27, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    Wait, Midvaliaen you just said tithing is not under any microscope. Mitt might be, and tithing is a part of that. So, if Mitt is under the microscope, tithing is a part of that, therefore tithing is partly under the microscope yet is not under the microscope? I don't understand. Can someone explain this to me?

    On another note, we as LDS believe that god asks for 10% of our increase. This is his world. Us being here and what we receive are because he allows it. Giving him 10% of what is his is too much? I don't understand this concept either.

  • MurrayMike Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    Okay let me get this straight. First, people were worried about how much money Mitt was making and if he was paying his fair share of taxes. We discovered he indeed was paying the amount he was supposed to. Now people are concerned that he's not paying exactly 10% tithe? Oh, he paid to little, must not be a good church member. Oh, he paid to much, now the church will influence his decisions as president. What's next, did he give to much to the Salvation Army. People will try to knock down Mitt anyway they can. They can't believe he's just a decent guy, unlike his opponent, Newt.

  • Less Is More Ogden, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 8:53 p.m.

    To me taxes and tithing are fundamental principles of investing in God and Country equally. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to contribute, take ownership, participate. In this case tithing, at 10% for everyone, all participate at the same rate. I have found that living on the remaining 90% of my income has been a sacrifice, but never overwhelming from childhood to raising children with low-income, to my current above average wage. The checks are now larger, but I feel grateful to participate just the same. By donating to charities outside the church, I feel like I'm part of my community. My feeling is that taxes should be administered the same. We are disenfranchising citizens if they don't participate, take ownership of their country. To me a flat consumption taxes with deductions, exceptions, and credits makes the most sense.

  • Time For A Tea Party Ogden, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    Mitt Romney donated $3,000,000 to charity and paid $3,000,000 in taxes and somehow this is considered bad or questionable. Obama panted a wall for the MLK day of service. I rest my case.

  • Less Is More Ogden, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    "To me a flat consumption taxes with deductions, exceptions, and credits makes the most sense." Sorry, I meant to say without deductions, exceptions, and credits.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    Jan. 27, 2012 10:38 p.m.

    Excuse me. Does any Christian really have a problem with paying 10% of their increase to their Church? All of these candidates are Christian men. Don't they all pay 10% of their income to their church? I mean, if they are Bible believing Christians they all pay 10%. Its right there in Malachi 3:8-12. And everyone knows a tithe is a tenth. So I suspect all of these guys pay that and it is a non issue.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    UtahBlueBell: Not a member are you? If you were you would know.