September 18, 2012
Spanish Cities Plan To Tax Church Property
Annual taxes on Catholic property with non-religious purposes could total 3 billion euros.
The global economic crisis is leading European cities to reconsider centuries-old tax breaks to churches.
A set of laws exempts the Roman Catholic Church and other recognized religious and nonprofit organizations from paying property tax in Spain, according to Time magazine.
Catholicism being the dominant religion in Spain, church properties currently are used as schools, homes, parks, sports fields, and restaurants. The Church's privileged status exempts it from an estimated 3 billion euros in taxes.
The Washington Post reports that the Vatican said it will "comply with all laws." However, the Church "declined to comment further except to emphasize that current norms recognize the 'social value' of church activities."