Italy’s Catholic Church will be forced to pay taxes starting in 2013 after the EU pressured the country’s government to pass a controversial law stripping the Church of its historic property tax exemption.

The Catholic Church in Italy is excluded from paying taxes on its land if at least a part of a Church property is used non-commercially – for instance, a chapel in a bed-and-breakfast. “The regulatory framework will be definite by January 1, 2013 – the start of the fiscal year – and will fully respect the [European] Community law,” Italian premier Mario Monti’s government said in a statement…

The move could net Italy revenues of 500 million to 2 billion euros annually across the country, municipal government associations said. The extra income from previously exempt properties in Rome alone – including hotels, restaurants and sports centres – could reach 25.5 million euros a year…

The measure came after the country’s leadership decided in February to alter Italy’s property tax code, ending the Church’s longstanding privileges due to the severe debt crisis.

Last December, after new austerity measures were adopted in the country, 130,000 Italians signed an online petition urging the government to strip the Church of its tax exemption.

“It was time that they paid, too, with all the exemptions they’ve had throughout the years,” Marco Catalano, a 35-year-old shopkeeper in Rome, told the New York Times in February, adding that he goes to church twice a month. “They own the most beautiful buildings in downtown Rome, on Italian soil, and rent them out at market prices…

Overdue. Not only in Italy. Not only regarding the Catholic Church.

Living in a nation with a constitution requiring separation of church and state, it is truly absurd that we still don’t collect property taxes, business taxes on the money-making, profit-generating properties owned by religious institutions.



  1. Jack O'Shyte says:

    Ain’t it the truth, John, ain’t it the truth.

  2. Lou says:

    Make the leaches pay.

  3. Gildersleeve says:

    I thank the Lord my God that this blog has as much political relevance as a bucket of warm spit.

    The question to ask to counter the argument within this ridiculous thread is this: Why would we in any way want to mimic any part of the European Union? They are trying to mimic us but failing miserably. My ancestors were very wise and brave people, scrambling to get the hell out of Europe and distance themselves from it as best they could. There were good reasons for this, folks. Leave failure at the OTHER side of the Atlantic.

    • Grandpa says:

      If the church can and does spout political speeches from their pulpit, they can and should pay taxes. And that is exactly what his happening and exactly why they should pay taxes.

      Think outside the church and you will see why this is so.

      • pedro says:

        I dare you to tax the Muslims. Would you be o brave?

        • Conan says:

          Um, I don’t care what religion you are, give me your tax money.
          I don’t think the IRS is scared of anyone, nor do I think most religions would not pay their fair share. I think the Muslims are the least of our worries. Are Muslims somehow different?

          • Angel H. Wong says:

            For starters, if you disagree with them they will kill you. And they associate white boy making his daughter smile = her losing her virginity out of wedlock => kill her.

  4. Peppeddu says:

    Ah the famous loophole where churches are not taxed.

    The catholic church in Italy understand this concept very well.
    They have 5 star hotels for “Catholics” and because in the building there’s also a small room where you can pray, the entire building does not have to pay property taxes at all.

    Not only that, since many people when they die leave their property to the church, it’s estimated that as much as 1/3 of all the real estate properties in Italy belong to the catholic church, and they are often rented out.

    No wonder they’re so against the property tax that every Italian has to pay except Churches and Banks

    And guess who’s at the government over there?

    • msbpodcast says:

      The church knows what’s what.

      Barring stupidity like nuclear, um, accidents, tectonic plate shifts, and climate change, real estate remains forever while owners come and go like leaf litter.

      Buy land between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn above 300 feet in elevation and you’re buying into tomorrow. Anything else is subject to change

      While not really eternal, its much longer term than we’ve been around as something recognizable as a species.

  5. MikeN says:

    So Eideard hates Catholics and Uncle Dave hates Jews, traits common to liberals. Any other groups that should be hated?

    • Uncle Dave says:

      Where the hell did you get that idea?

      • NewFormatSux says:

        http://dvorak.org/blog/2012/11/19/israel-vs-palestinians/

        Let’s throw in cops and the military too, but for some reason liberals love government despite that.
        Love of criminals is high on UncleDave’s list.

        • Uncle Dave says:

          There’s a considerable difference between thinking the creation of Israel by pushing out people who had lived there for centuries was wrong, and hating all Jews.

          I also don’t hate cops and the military.

          I hate the scumbag cops who are crooked and violent, and the vast wastage of our money that we pour into the military that allows cost overruns to benefit their friends. I also oppose the military being used to fight wars for oil (like Iraq, etc) and extend “American interests” (ie, whatever big business wants).

          As I have stated many times, I am a liberal in the old sense that the Republican party used to be. Small government, non-interference in people’s lives (eg, gov out of issues like abortion, drugs, gay marriage, etc), and so on.

          And what criminals do I love? Give specific examples.

          • Dallas says:

            Don’t fall for their lame Fox News trap of creating a label and then baiting you to defend yourself.

            Their political party is dying and desperate.

          • Conan says:

            I think the response to Hagel for defense says it all: If you aren’t for Israel doing whatever it wants, including making US (A) go to war with Iran, you are an anti semite.
            I guess now, if you speak bad of any religion, you are an anti-semite or as Pedro notes above, must be in favor of the Muslims due to fear of them.

            My solution a Prayer Tax. That hits the Muslims hard, Jews a little bit and only sinful Christians.
            It could be an Ipad app so my Apple stock can keep going higher with their 30%!!

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Did you get your dick stuck in a tree?

  6. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Liberals prove again they are a threat to the American way, to a free republic…

    Rather than decry spending ourselves into default, national poverty via massive government waste, fraud and corruption by our politicians…they salivate to rob others of their cash…to feed the monster.

    • Dallas says:

      Whaaa ;-( ;-( Whaaa . The negro won ;-(

      • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

        No, the Destructor won, as Ron Paul hinted….the phonies won.

        Its down into default we go, the bastards won’t stop robbing the country even for a while, to save it.

  7. Rich says:

    This is the perfect conversation for about five years ago. I don’t think the question is “should we tax the church” but rather “what can we do to reform our wacked tax system”. Give the government more money? I know Eidard has more sense than this and is asking this ironically. If we tax religious institutions we can add them to the list of rape victims including individuals, corporations, et al.

  8. Supreme Ultrahuman (I see the comment system is still designed for retards.) says:

    I like bacon. Bacon should not be taxed.

  9. bobbo, one lib-tard spanking right wing retards for years says:

    MikeN invites derision and says:
    12/29/2012 at 9:18 am

    So Eideard hates Catholics and Uncle Dave hates Jews, traits common to liberals. Any other groups that should be hated? /// Yep–conservatives in general but always when they slop over into non-financial issues. True Conservatives are of course ignored in the debate and are simply counting the days to Armageddon. False Conservatives are the imbecile RICH who think they made it all on their own and don’t own anything back. Like Rich ((Small R, Little Dick)), and Loser they categorize any tax as a form of slavery: they are just that stoopid.

    Society—something we all live in. It needs certain safety nets and general services…. and no guns.

    Queue the common talking points.

    Show me a Teapublican or NeoCon and I’ll show you a developmentally challenged hooman being. They are just that retarded.

    Yea, Verily.

  10. bobbo, one lib-tard spanking right wing retards for years says:

    Uncle Dave says:
    12/29/2012 at 9:06 pm

    There’s a considerable difference between thinking the creation of Israel by pushing out people who had lived there for centuries was wrong, and hating all Jews. /// I read the book but more remember the Movie “Exodus” by Leon Uris made a big point that when the Jews first occupied the West Bank the locals ran away in fear and to join Arab Forces to fight the Jewish takeover. The Arabs united and tried to Militarily defeat the new Jewish State. After losing the war, the ex-locals decided after all that that they wanted their old properties back.

    —or—- just the opposite as you say and the new Jews pushed the locals out? Why didn’t they push them all out?

    BUT==either way, how to best “know” what happened beyond individual stories ((how to “add” them all up?)) and then further: what difference would it make? / should it make / could it make?

    Land is held by those with the will and ability to do so. No exceptions anywhere at any time. “Not ready to attack just yet” is not an exception.

    Reality.

    • Uncle Dave says:

      A line from a screenplay I once wrote: “History is the tale of wars as told by the victors, written in the blood of the vanquished.” You’re right in that being able to take and hold land means you now own it. But that doesn’t mean it’s right in a moral sense.

      If you, personally, had been pushed off the land, you have a moral right to attempt to reclaim it. But if it has been hundreds to thousands of years since your ancestors lost it, then you have no more right to that land than someone whose ancestors had never even visited the area. As the saying goes, Might doesn’t make Right.

      Not saying Israel should give up what they took now. Just that I don’t think they had a right to take it in the first place based on ancestors having owned it long, long ago. But feeling that is a long way from the stupid, imbecilic troll comment that started this.

  11. JT says:

    The thing that everyone is missing is the church dollars are already taxed by the people who donated them to a non-profit of their choice. If you want to tax the churches then you need to tax every non for profit group out there. If you want to go that route then you may as well get rid of all tax deductions across the board and implement a flat tax for everyone and reduce the size and expense of the IRS. Not sure why it would be so difficult to set a standard rate, for example 40% for a person or organization. Take the tax at the paycheck. No deduction means no returns.

    If income is $1.00 tax is 40 cents off the top
    If income is $100,000 tax is $40,000 off the top
    If income is $1,000,000 tax is $400,000 off the top

    Everyone pays the same percentage rich and poor, The wealthy are paying more however the percentage is the same while reducing government. How can anyone complain about that?

    • bobbo, one lib-tard spanking right wing retards for years says:

      How can anyone complain about that? /// If you can’t immediately give 3 or more reasons, you are completely uniformed on the subject and should not be posting.

      Poser.

      • It says:

        I would say the poser is the one who made no points -

        • bobbo, one lib-tard spanking right wing retards for years says:

          You would? Well then…. you would evidence you don’t understand at all the burden of supporting a proposition.

          Think of it as charity. If I name 3, what in the world could poor JT come up with then?

          • JT says:

            That would be called a debate and I would then have a response to your points. But since you have made none I guess this is the only response I can give.

  12. Captain Obvious says:

    Start with the simple stuff. Make priests pay for their own child support.

  13. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    On only a slight tangent:

    http://huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/belgium-prosecutes-scientology-extortion-fraud_n_2375823.html

    Funny–they make a distinction between modern frauds and long standing ones….. and they make good waffles too.

  14. Glenn E. says:

    Reading this, I can’t help but wonder. If and when it happens, what will so many tax dodging “religious” organizations and enterprises, start calling themselves, in order to keep avoiding taxes. And surely Govt.s will give them an out or a loop hole. Maybe the Cruise Cult will declare itself a separate sovereign nation, instead of a “church”. To keep its tax exempt stasis. Or at the very least, a foreign corporation, based in the Virgin Islands. Or CSA, Church of Swiss (Bank) Accounts. There’s always going to be some dodges, built in, by those who got lobbied or bribed to engineer it that way. In fact that’s probably what takes up most of their day. Figuring out the loopholes. You know think these things happen by accident, do you?

  15. Jesus Chirst says:

    I just want to go on record saying I am all for paying my fair share. I know some of my “followers” talk all kinds of non-sense, but I am a socialist, just check out my quotes in my book, The Bible.

  16. Forbidden News: His Majesty the King of America Cuong Truong created a character name Actor Tom Truong for his upcoming real life scary movie Jesus Christ reborn: The Second Coming of Christ. It’s a real life movie about the son of God using Knights created by fate to help 7+ Billion slaves fight the devil worshipers cult illuminati aka (the Bilderberg Group).

  17. Photon, if you’re going to apply Godwin’s law, you should at least know the law. From your link “The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics or…”The discussion is very much about eugenics.

  18. American Militia Groups News Alert: Sandy Hook school disobey the terrorist organization Bilderberg Group by not house training the little children to worship Devil. The Bilderberg Group also known as the KKK sent a kill squad over to execute all those little children in school to make an example out of them. The message was: You must house train your little children, little niece, little nephews in America to worship the Devil in school or they all must die.