Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should churches (defined as churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, etc.) remain tax-exempt?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Joe Hunter, in a Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"As with almost all aspects of the current tax code, the granting of exemptions, credits, etc., to specific groups is a recipe for favoritism and government manipulation. That is one of the primary reasons I advocate a simple federal consumption tax to replace all income taxes - and eliminate all tax subsidies, credits and exemptions." Oct. 9, 2012 Gary Johnson
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following in an interview with Peter J. Reilly published Oct. 9, 2012 "Jill Stein Lining Up With Freedom From Religion Foundation on Parsonage Exclusion," available at www.forbes.com:
"Peter J. Reilly: ...Someone who is designated a minister of the gospel is entitled to exclude from income the amount their congregation pays them for housing [known as the parsonage exclusion] regardless of the size, there is no dollar limit on this... If you were president would you consider not defending the constitutionality of the parsonage exclusion?...
Jill Stein: ...I try not to shoot from the hip, and actually consider these things before taking a position on them, and I would have to say that I would do that. But at first blush I would agree with the principal here of separation of church and state, which would seem to say we should not give special favors to employees of religious institutions that certainly sounds true." Oct. 9, 2012 Jill Stein