Financially troubled parts of Europe consider taxing church properties

Financially troubled parts of Europe consider taxing church properties

lcala de Henares, Spain — Cash-strapped officials in Europe are looking for a way to ease their financial burden by upending centuries of tradition and seeking to tap one of the last untouched sources of wealth: the Catholic Church.

Thousands of public officials who have seen the financial crisis hit their budgets are chipping away at the various tax breaks and privileges the church has enjoyed for centuries.

So if they go down this route than how would this not blur the lines on separation between Church and State? Of course this would be a clear of violation of 1st Amendment Rights in this country but in Other countries…?

Personally, i`d be happy if the Church WERE fully taxed in Europe and elsewhere. Then her bishops et al in those places would be free to speak the Truth without fear of violating some privilege agreement or whatever. :shrug:

A bit of persecution wouldn`t hurt. At the moment, some areas of the Church in the West are no better than the Laodiceans. [Rev 3:14-22] :frowning:

I’m not surprised that governments (especially in hyper-secularist Europe) are looking to tax religious institutions. It’s something that tends to come up when militantly secularists discuss religion. I know that in the wake of the Mars discovery rover (and in response to the backlash regarding the massive expensive) I witnessed a lot of individuals talking about how lucrative taxing the Church would be. Taxing Church property was more or less inevitable; if it hadn’t been for our current financial crisis another excuse would have eventually been found.

Wouldn’t it rather all depend on what taxes we’re talking about?

For example, if the Church owns property from which it gains rental income, why shouldn’t it pay tax on that income? Why should commercial property owners pay tax if the Church doesn’t (which would give the Church an unfair commercial advantage over other property owners in the rental market, after all)?

The same would surely go for any other commercial enterprise.

Sad. But at least some countries, even in secular Europe, give taxes to the Church.

European governments reeling from the financial crisis are looking at the Catholic Church as a new source of tax revenue. Officials are chipping away at centuries’ worth of tradition even as the church faces financial difficulties of its own, The Washington Post reports.

Among the efforts seeking tax revenue from the church are schemes to tax church property used for non-religious purposes. In Spain, where the Catholic Church owns schools, homes, parks, sports fields and restaurants, tax revenue could reach 3 billion euros a year.

“We want to make a statement that the costs of the crisis should be borne equally by every person and institution,” Ricardo Rubio, a city council member in Alcala, Spain, told the Post.

The net worth of the Vatican and the Catholic Church dioceses is difficult to estimate, but it is thought to be astronomical, according to Zech. The Vatican’s treasure of gold alone is thought to be worth several billion dollars. The church’s nearly 3,000 dioceses serve individual countries, regions or cities that defer to the Vatican in matters of doctrine but maintain their own finances.

Deja vu.

Funny how in secular Europe, nothing is sacred…except for vacation time, government goodies and the venerable Euro currency. :rolleyes:

It would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Much of Church ‘income’ is redistributed to the poor via Church social programs. The Church gives to the poor regardless of religion, it helps all the poor. So if the gov’t takes money from the Church ostensibly to support its own social welfare programs, the Church will have less to use itself on the poor. It would be detrimental though, I think, because secular and atheist gov’t ministers could and very likely would use some of the extra monies from the Church not to support the needy, but to pay for the promotion of anti-Church agendas such as providing more abortions and contraception. So it seems it is really a devious way to doubly hurt the Church - weaken the Church’s work by taking some money from it, and using those monies to strengthen anti-Church policies. Note that Europe is controlled mainly by masons who hate and want to destroy the Church.

God bless you.

And your source for that claim is?

I have no problem seeing church property taxed…the only tax exemption should be on donations to the church.

On an upside the government of the Czech Republic is apparently going to compensate the church for property the communists confiscated.

What you say would make sense, the only problem rests with your last statement that is not completely true. In a few countries banks and other financial institutions have the habit of setting up financial cultural centers to avoid paying the same kind of taxes that now the governments would like to be paid by the Church.

The difference with other commercial enterprise is that any income the Catholic Church earns from property is used for charitable purposes and is referred to as working fund as opposed to profit.

The government is trying to get that law passed, but is having trouble. The proposal is deeply unpopular among Czech citizens. And the ruling party has a bare majority which is liable to fracture.

Quoting from a July 2012 article

The bill, however, still faces significant hurdles. The Social Democrats who dominate the parliament’s upper house are expected to return it to the lower house for another vote. The government will need to scramble 101 votes in the 200-seat house in its favour.

While Petr Necas, the prime minister, started out with a safe majority of 118 votes, his government was backed by only 105 lawmakers in the latest confidence vote. They include independents holding grudges against the cabinet as well as those who oppose the restitution plan. Tough haggling over support for the bill is likely to ensue.

Even if the cabinet jostles the bill through, it could be dismantled by its leftist opponents once in power. “Its weakness lies in the lack of political consensus,” Mr Kriz said of the agreement. The opposition is already warning that it will abolish the bill. This could open a path to court battles that are unlikely not end well for the state.

A bulletin from Reuters, issued three days ago, indicates that the bill recently failed, but that the government will try again.

Bishop Bagnasco president of the Italian Episcopal Community (CEI is the equivalent of USCCB) agreed that there is nothing wrong to tax the Church when it comes to business income. The Church can always deduct the true charitable expenses from taxes, you also must remember that in Italy the government mandates a collection of 0.8% of the taxable income for charitable work and usually that money goes to the Catholic Church. In countries like Italy it is not simply about getting extra money out of the Church but forcing transparency across the border for everybody, Italy has some major issues with tax evasion.

Touche, austen, touche! :sad_yes:

Seriously, though: would they tax the cathedrals? The monasteries and convents (those that still left)?

It’s deja vu all over again. In the France of the late 19th, early 20th century, the anti-clerical government went after the teaching Congregations of religious, both men and women, first through taxes, then by outright suppression, expulsion and confiscation of property. I just finished reading a biography of Mother Mabel Digby, an English convert to Catholicism who entered the Society of the Sacred Heart and was it’s third Mother General (she knew the Foundress, St. Madeleine-Sophie Barat, in the last years of the Saint’s life). Mother Digby had to endure the persecution by the anti-clericals, but she found a new home for every French religious who was forced out of her convent, mostly in foreign countries.

I doubt our Bishops would be in agreement with the Italian Bishop. HMRC already allows for “true” claims. “Business income” is also one that does not apply to the Catholic Church here. Any type of taxation which would apply is akin to UK corporation tax relief against charitable donations, which is claimed by non-charitable organisations. The Catholic Church does not fall under that category. Unless, of course one suggests that the Catholic Church, or other religious organisations in the UK volunteer to be rid of their charitable status.

Just higher some accountants that reduce the profit to zero
The increase will be greater in PR than money

The Occupy Movement’s dream come true.

One source is here:

Key paragraphs
Christian Statesman
Dr. Otto von Habsburg

At 94, the “uncrowned emperor” and visionary architect of a reunified Europe carries on a thousand-year legacy of Catholic political leadership

The past and future of Europe have hovered as a haunting subtext beneath all the headlines of 2006. Even as the global encounter with the Islamic world has claimed center stage, the very specter of clashing Christian and Moslem civilizations brings the mind back to Europe – a Europe seemingly in full flight from its Christian heritage just as it stands on the brink of achieving the peace and unity that had eluded it for so many centuries. Europe the cradle of Christendom, where Christianity has become politically incorrect. Europe that stopped Islamic invasions at Tours and Lepanto and Vienna, but where now in some of its countries “Mohammed” is the single most popular name registered for newborn boys. Europe the 21st century’s amnesiac lost child, bent on demographic suicide yet somehow still hearkening to its unique destiny as the heart of Christian civilization…
"In today’s world, it is usually not the person of the pope that is under direct attack, but the Christian faith itself. In Europe, Pope Benedict, like his predecessor, enjoys enormous respect, but the trend in public policies cuts to the core of Christian civilization. When Emperor Karl was in exile, representatives of the same Freemasonry that had engineered his downfall offered to engineer his re-instatement, if he would agree to give them control in just two areas – the education of children and laws regarding marriage. Karl, of course, refused. And yet, the boldest Freemason of Karl’s day would not have dared hope for the policy climate that prevails in the European Union today – where nations contemplating membership are pressured to embrace abortion, where a distinguished Italian public servant was barred from European office for daring to state his adherence to longstanding Catholic doctrine, and where redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is the latest trend. "

I recommend you read the entire short article to gain a great historical perspective on this, which is stuff you won’t find in most American history classes/books.

God bless you.

WHAT??? Taxing a church would be violation of church and state? That is absurd.

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