Court Rejects Atheists’ Lawsuit Against Pastors’ Tax-Free Housing Allowance

by Michael Gryboski  |  published on November 17, 2014

An appeals court panel has rejected a Wisconsin-based atheist group’s lawsuit against a law that gives clergy an exemption from paying income taxes on their housing allowance.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday against the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison’s lawsuit.

Reversing a lower court decision from last year, the panel unanimously concluded that FFRF “lacks standing to challenge” the housing allowance law.

According to the panel, this lack of standing was apparent in that the FFRF had never officially asked for the exemption and thus had not been denied it.