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March 19, 2007

Amish tax myths

'The Amish don't pay taxes.  They're freeloaders.'

Ryan Robinson of the Lancaster New Era writes that myths such as these persist, apparently even among long-time neighbors of the Amish. 

Why the confusion? 

169849_tax They are generally exempt from paying Social Security taxes, a privilege negotiated some years ago with the federal government.  But at the same time they also refrain from receiving benefits.

They feel it's better to rely on their own means to take care of the needs of the weak and aged. 

The Amish, and especially the farmers among them, pay more than their fair share of taxes to support local schools, which in any case they usually don't use.  Most of the kids go to Amish-run parochial schools.

Robinson writes:  Ask your superintendent what school district budgets would look like if the thousands of Amish children in the county all of a sudden showed up for public education.

The Amish are basically subsidizing non-Amish education. 

They're also usually contributing a lot to the local economy by attracting tourists and patronizing local businesses, as well as employing non-Amish employees in their own often thriving firms.   And Amish businessmen do pay Social Security for non-Amish workers. 

The Amish also support charitable actions in their own areas and outside,  monetarily and through contributions of time and labor.   

Et cetera.

The misinformed would do well to get informed, and give the Amish a break.  When you hear some of the not-too-infrequent anti-Amish blather on the internet and in real life, you have to wonder just who the 'ignorant' ones really are. 

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Comments

I have heard people complain about this kind of thing. Thanks for straightening everyone out.

this article is stupid
amish exempt from s.s tax just cause they plan on not using it wtf!! why i am "FORCED" by the government to pay i dont want to use it either.

"The Amish, and especially the farmers among them, pay more than their fair share of taxes to support local schools, which in any case they usually don't use. Most of the kids go to Amish-run parochial schools".....
..ohhh poor them there are millions of people that dont have kids in school and they pay also....plus school tax is only around 2 dollars a week ohhh booo hoooo....thanks for this mute point..

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