Italy plans to tax Vatican on commercial properties
The Vatican owns about 20% of Italy’s properties
Italy’s Catholic Church faces an annual multi-million euro bill over government plans to strip it of its tax-exempt status.
Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced the Vatican must pay taxes on non-religious property, from which it previously enjoyed an exemption.
The annual cost could be up to 720m euros ($945m; £598m) according to municipal government bodies.
Italy’s Catholic Church has 110,000 properties, worth about 9bn euros.
It includes shopping centres and a range of residential property.
In December, the government reintroduced a tax paid by anyone who owns land or property in Italy – which the Church does not pay.
But a growing wave of Italians are opposed to what they see as special privileges in the face of a tightening economy.
Following their government’s latest austerity measure package, more than 130,000 people signed an online petition calling for the Church’s tax exempt status to be revoked. Full Story