Housing Allowance Litigation
Many of our clergy have wondered about the status of the tax exemption for housing allowances, in light of the October decision and injunction issued by a federal judge in Wisconsin that ruled the exemption was unconstitutional. We’ve just learned from GCFA that the judge has stayed the injunction until 180 days after the conclusion of any appeals.
I would estimate that process will take at least a year in circuit court, and possibly another year to reach the Supreme Court; so change, if any, will probably be no sooner than 2019 or 2020. I expect there will be a United Methodist amicus brief filed in the appeal. We’ll keep you posted.
Increase in Health Plan Premiums in 2018
In the December meeting of the Health Plan Committee, the committee determined that we have put off increasing premiums as long as we can. Persons who are paying for health plan coverage for their spouses or dependents will see an increase of 10% effective February 1st. This is the first increase since 2008, an extraordinary state of affairs for employer sponsored health insurance.
I am grateful for the hard work of Health Plan Committee and our partners at Mercer, PrimeRISK, and UMR/United Healthcare, as well as the diligence of all participants to use the plan only when needed.
The annual 2018 Health Plan Eligibility and Premium document will be printed in the Journal.
Jim Allen, Office of Administrative Services