Georgia: Raphael Warnock(D) doesn’t pay income taxes on a $90K ‘parsonage allowance’ from Atlanta church – IOTW Report

Georgia: Raphael Warnock(D) doesn’t pay income taxes on a $90K ‘parsonage allowance’ from Atlanta church


Sen. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) has an unusual financial arrangement with an outside employer that allowed him to avoid income taxes on $89,000 in outside salary last year, according to tax experts.

Warnock, who works as the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, said the church paid him $89,000 last year as a “parsonage allowance”—as opposed to regular outside income, which is subject to strict limitations for senators under federal law. Lawmakers are not allowed to receive more than $29,895 in outside income.

The news raises questions about whether Warnock is taking a tax break that’s unavailable to the vast majority of Americans. Republicans say Warnock wants to raise taxes, pointing to his vote for a spending package in August that some analysts claim would increase taxes on low- and middle-income earners. The senator has also faced criticism for his outside financial arrangements from his opponent, Republican Herschel Walker. The Walker campaign has slammed Warnock for doubling his annual salary since taking office, raking in $120,000 from the Ebenezer Baptist Church and over $240,000 for a book deal.

Tax experts said the Internal Revenue Service created the modern “parsonage allowance” provision in the 1950s as a tax break for religious leaders, who historically lived in tax-exempt church-owned parsonages but now often rent or own their own homes. The provision allows pastors and other clergy members to deduct their estimated annual housing expenses—including mortgage payments, lawn care, furniture, and pool maintenance—from their income taxes.

Warnock’s campaign declined to comment on whether he paid income taxes on his housing allowance.

Some legal experts also questioned the Senate Ethics Committee’s decision to approve the arrangement, saying it appears to violate federal law that prohibits members of Congress from receiving more than $29,895 in outside income. Warnock’s campaign suggested that the “parsonage allowance” wasn’t subject to the same cap as regular income, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which first reported on the arrangement last month. more

16 Comments on Georgia: Raphael Warnock(D) doesn’t pay income taxes on a $90K ‘parsonage allowance’ from Atlanta church

  1. How can he be considered senior pastor of a church and receive a “parsonage “ allowance when he’s supposed to be a US Senator?

  2. How can he be considered senior pastor of a church and receive a “parsonage “ allowance when he’s supposed to be a US Senator?

    Black Privilege

  3. ^^^ BTW – This is the same reason they can campaign in church, even though the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one “which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

  4. When I received my “personage allowance” I could only claim up to the amount I could LEGALLY document as housing expenses (primarily mortgage and such). My allowance never exceeded $ 800 per month.

    Other pastors I knew would try to exclude paying any taxes (and screamed then out of any social security credit).

    For me I paid all my taxes out of my salary as self-employed including Social security, fed. Taxes, state and local, and even medicare.

    Stories such as this always piss me off as these big paid “pastors” scam the system. Most of their income is an “honorarium” like making sire the big guy gets a cut.

    It took a lot of

  5. That is the church MLK used to be pastor of. Warnock does not ever regularly set foot in the place. One of the new 87000 gestapo should look into this.

  6. It sounds bad to say, but this is typical of black pastors and Democrats. Combine the two and you get it on steroids. I’ve had a few interactions with these “pastors”. They always EXPECT everything to be free, and are insulted when you tell then they have to pay. Every single one of them went somewhere else, rather than pay me. Same thing with a friend who ran a business for the owner. Black pastor ran up a bill, when they refused to take on additional work until he paid his balance, the guy disappeared after accusing them of “not honoring a man of god”. When that didn’t work it was a racism accusation.

  7. Cynic – It sounds bad to say…

    I’m to the point where I think: Look, if I’m going to get called a “racist” anyway, no matter what I may or may not say, I might as well go ahead and lay the Truth out there!

  8. I remember seeing a lot “Clergy” stickers and plaques in the rear windows of cars in the 60’s. Probably there so cops would be less likely to issue the good Revrum a ticket. Yup, Ralph, being a man of the cloth, is blessed to receive some considerations for his service.

  9. Is it “RAYCISS” to ask his credentials? Does he have more seminary training than, say, the Reverhunds Jackson or Sharpton?

  10. I wonder if he caught his child support up. We can’t find out as he had those court proceedings sealed just like his divorce proceedings.

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