Updated: Resolution Filed Declaring “Religious Freedom Day”

UPDATE: Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) has filed a similar resolution in the Arkansas Senate: SR 1.

This morning Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) filed House Resolution 1002 declaring Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Religious Freedom Day.

The resolution also honors the anniversary of the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom — a milestone for religious liberty in our country’s history — and affirms that religious freedom is a fundamental right.

H.R. 1002 contains numerous quotes from Founding Fathers and U.S. Presidents about religious liberty as well.

The free exercise of religion has come under attack in recent years. That’s why, more than ever, government needs to promote and defend religious liberty in America.

You can read H.R. 1002 here.

You can read S.R. 1 here.

Senator Says Task Force Not Interested in Taxing Churches

Yesterday we wrote about a proposal at the Arkansas Legislature to tax passive income of churches. The proposal was among those up for consideration at the legislature’s Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force.

Under Arkansas law, income churches receive from things like interest earned on savings accounts or from the sale or rental of church property is not subject to the state income tax. The proposal before the task force would eliminate this exemption.

Sen. Jim Hendren (R — Gravette) is the senate chairman of the task force. I spoke with Sen. Hendren this morning, and he has assured me the task force has no interest in eliminating churches’ passive income tax exemption.

I am deeply grateful to everyone who contacted their state legislators yesterday to express their concern about this proposal, and I hope our elected officials will continue working to ensure taxes are not increased on churches and charities.