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Vatican facing nearly $1 billion per year tax bill

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And this is only touching a small fraction of their wealth, so consider it pocket change for the church. Their property holdings are substantial so why shouldn't they be taxed like everyone else? The Independent:

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.

Mr Almunia said in 2010 that the exemption amounted to state aid that might breach EU competition law. A parliamentary proposal by the Italian Radicals party last August to repeal the exemption, with a successful petition on Facebook, upped the pressure. A spokesman for Mr Almunia appeared to give the thumbs-up yesterday: "It is a proposal that constitutes a significant progress on the issue and I hope will be implemented," he said.
As much as the church gets involved in politics in the US, it's unclear why they don't get taxed here as well. If they want to keep their tax free status they really need to shut up and get back to focusing on issues like helping the poor instead of amassing wealth and power.

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