Monday, February 20, 2012

Italy Cancels Vatican Tax Breaks, Orders Pope to Pay €600M-a-Year

Italian P.M. Mario Monti has informed the Vatican that Italy will begin requiring the Catholic Church to pay property taxes on 100,000 properties, totaling between  €600 million and €2.2 billion-a-year in new tax revenues for Italy based on estimates. 
If Monti had real balls he would demand the Vatican pay the tax with a portion of their massive gold stores- that would generate some fireworks. 

After several years of scandal in which the Catholic Church has faced allegations of financial impropriety, paedophile priests and rumours of plots to kill the Pope, the Vatican is now facing a new €600m-a-year tax bill as Rome seeks to head off European Commission censure over controversial property tax breaks enjoyed by the Church.

As the EC heads closer to officially condemning the fiscal perks enjoyed by the Catholic Church and introduced by the Berlusconi administration, Prime Minister Mario Monti has written to the Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, saying that the Vatican will resume property tax, or Ici, payments.
The Vatican avoids Ici tax on about 100,000 properties, classed as non-commercial, including 8,779 schools, 26,300 ecclesiastical structures and 4,714 hospitals and clinics.
Estimates of its annual saving from avoiding the levy range widely from €600m to €2.2bn. The Church, however, says the tax exemption is worth only €100m a year. Neither is it clear from Mr Monti's comments how much Ici tax the Church will now have to pay.
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