Skip to comments.Due To Austerity, The Italian Catholic Church May Have To Begin Paying Property Tax
Posted on 12/10/2011 6:25:48 PM PST by SeekAndFind
ROME (AP) Italy's Catholic Church has shifted gears and shown a willingness to revisit its tax-exempt status amid renewed criticism that much of its vast real estate holdings isn't subject to local property taxes.
The criticism has grown recently following Premier Mario Monti's proposal to restore a property tax on first and second homes as part of his sweeping austerity measures to help reign in Italy's massive debt.
With ordinary Italians being asked to make sacrifices, the church is coming under fire to do its part and give up what some consider an unfair privilege. Critics, most prominently Italy's Radical Party, charge that the Italian government is missing out on millions of euros in potential taxes.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops' conference, said Friday the church would be open to looking at the issue and remedying any individual "abuses" that might have occurred.
"The current norms are correct in that they recognize the social value of activities carried out by many non-profits, among them church ones," he said. "It's also correct that if there have been concrete cases in which a tax that should have been paid wasn't, we should verify the abuse and end it."
The church has long insisted that it enjoys no special tax privileges, noting that nonprofit organizations, cultural associations, foreign embassies, Lutheran-owned churches and the synagogues of the Jewish community, are exempt from local property taxes.
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Economic advantage? Rivals? These concepts only matter in the marketplace.
The U.S. should eliminate all property tax exemptions based on religion also...
If His Holiness were to consider relocating the Church to Texas, I know that there are any number of municipalities that would be most generous in offering concessions and other inducements to help facilitate the move.
I read somewhere that around 1,000 buildings a year are donated to the Catholic church in Rome. The church also inherits property from estates throughout Italy. It’s a major property owner. I’ve read of Italian business buildings owned by the church are leased to non-profits, small businesses, the elderly and all at lower than market rates. Many buildings are in use as if they were privately owned, but property taxes aren’t always being paid.
How many Italians even attend Church anymore?
I am not that keen on the Catholic church,as I prefer the idea of personal contact with God rather then an intermediary. However the way it stumbles in Europe these days,makes me think there’d be no real chance in maintaining long-term taxation of its assets anywhere in the EU.And these are still houses dedicated to God,whatever functions they serve these days.
Can’t .Violation of concordant made with Italy and Papalcy made with Mussolini.