Italians want to finally tax the Catholic Church

With all the belt tightening happening in Italy, the general population is putting into motion a plan to tax the Catholic Church’s many holdings and tax exempt businesses. The total amount of revenue this would generate for the country is estimated to be about a billion dollars annually.

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. Since 2005, church-run groups and organisations have not been classed as official commercial bodies and have been exempt from paying property tax.

Now, before you go jumping for joy, keep in mind Italy would only be taxing property that doesn’t have a specific religious intent. Tax authorities will need to scrutinize all of the Church’s holdings to determine which category they fit in.

So, it’s still pretty weak-sauce, but it’s a step in the right direction. Here’s hoping Italy’s austerity measures (another nice way of saying “fuck the poor”) continue to drive the idea that the Church has been getting a free ride for way too long. Enjoy your privilege while you can, Vatican. Eventually, they’ll be coming for your gold plates and jewel encrusted cutlery.

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