I read with great interest Peter Orum’s letter raising the issue of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) violating its 501(c)3 tax exempt status as a charitable organization. Under the IRS Code, all such charitable organizations are prohibited against “participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign."
That the LDS Church even has a director of community and government affairs is indictment enough. We should take note that the former Utah House Speaker, Marty Stephens, is the new LDS director of community and government affairs, which serves to show us how tightly woven is the fabric of our state government with the LDS Church. The LDS church also solicits its members to intervene in government affairs on behalf of the LDS. (https://publicaffairs.lds.org/)
Because a large proportion of our Utah tax-paying residents reduce their taxable income by tithing 10 percent of their income to the LDS church, the Utah tax rate must remain high enough to make up the loss of revenue.
The LDS Church should refrain from giving direction to our state government representatives, or give up its 501(c)3 tax exempt status.
Loraine Brandt, Salt Lake City