Some people recently laid-off from religious institutions in Virginia said they were shocked [just shocked!] to find the state does not offer them unemployment benefits.
Carol Bronson, who was laid off from her secretarial job at Temple Emanuel synagogue in Virginia Beach, said she was told her unemployment claim was denied because the tax exemptions for religious organizations under Virginia law include an exemption from paying unemployment taxes, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.
Steven G. Vegh of the Virginian-Pilot adds that “under Virginia law, tax exemptions for religious organizations include freedom from paying unemployment taxes. The groups still must pay Social Security and withholding taxes.”
You don’t have to pay the tax, so you don’t get the benefits. Sounds pretty fair to me. In fact, it sounds like such a good idea that I think it should be expanded. All businesses should be able to decide whether to pay the unemployment tax. If I could decide not to pay the Social Security tax in exchange for not getting any Social Security benefits, I’d sign up in a second.