Clergy Housing Law - Ruling
November 25, 2013
On November 22, 2013, Judge Barbara Crabb of the federal district court in Madison, Wisconsin ruled that the law which allows clergy to exclude housing expenses from their taxable income is unconstitutional. The judge left in place that portion of the law which allows clergy to exclude the rental value of a parsonage provided by the church.
The judge stayed (postponed) enforcement of her ruling until all appeals have been exhausted. We expect this ruling to be appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and perhaps also to the U.S. Supreme Court. These appeals will take time—certainly months and perhaps years.
Until the appeals have been decided (or the time for such appeals expires), the housing allowance exclusion remains in effect.
We understand that this matter is of great concern to our clergy participants and we will continue to monitor events carefully, and to consider what actions might be appropriate.