* Establish Annual Conference State Taxation Task Force (deleted or expired 2012)
WHEREAS, the Bible enjoins all Christians to establish a just society, called "the Kingdom of God" by our Lord Jesus; the Hebrew prophets condemn in no uncertain terms depriving the poor of fair treatment and Jesus described his mission as liberating the oppressed and preaching good news to the poor and further identified with "the least of these"; and
WHEREAS, tax laws are necessary to raise revenues to meet the minimum health, safety, educational, and welfare needs of the community, the Judeo-Christian standards of justice require that the taxes imposed be fair to poor and low-income citizens and raise adequate revenues for the society's common good; and
WHEREAS, Susan Pace Hamill, United Methodist layperson and professor of law at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, has convincingly documented in her thesis "An Argument for Tax Reform Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics" http://www.law.ua.edu/pdf/hamill-taxreform.pdf that the State of Alabama tax code, by oppressively burdening poor and low-income Alabamians and failing to raise adequate revenues for basic services, does not meet the Judeo-Christian standards of justice; and
WHEREAS, the North Alabama Conference and the Alabama-West Florida Conference both organized to work to reform their state's regressive tax code;
Be it hereby resolved that, State Taxation Task Forces are established in each annual conference at their next session to examine the tax codes of their states, following the guidelines in Professor Hamill's book The Least of These (Fair Taxes and the Moral Duty of Christians);
and that the task forces in each Conference prepare a strategy for action to promote and establish a just tax code in every state;
and that strategies seek to enlist the cooperation and support of all local churches through tax education and advocacy;
and that their results are communicated annually to the General Board of Church and Society in Washington D.C.;
and that the General Board of Church and Society report on the effectiveness of these strategies and recommend continued action to the General Conference of 2008.
resolution #228, 2004 Book of Resolutions
See Social Principles, ¶ 163 D and E.
From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.