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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2012, 07:24 AM

49. Alcalá to collect tax on Catholic Church properties

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/05/21/inenglish/1337625644_395555.html

The city of Alcalá de Henares is set to become the first area of Spain to charge the Catholic Church municipal taxes on the properties it owns within its jurisdiction. On May 15, the City Council approved the measure on the tax — which is known in Spanish as IBI — with votes in favor from the Socialists, United Left-Greens coalition, UPyD and the Popular Party (PP).

It now falls to PP Mayor Bartolomé González to amend the local tax code so that the annual IBI can be collected on Church properties in the Madrid-region muncipality of 204,000 residents. Following the move in Alcalá, the Madrid Socialist Party (PSM) in Móstoles — south of the capital — announced it will propose a similar measure in the coming days.

The new regulation, however, is expected to be challenged in court. Under agreements signed between the Vatican and Spain during the transition to democracy after the death of Franco, the Spanish government agreed not to collect IBI or other taxes on Church property. But the Socialists say that those treaties have their limits.

For example, they argue that under current regulations, IBI can be collected on Church-owned properties that are not used as places of worship, especially if they are rented out to third parties, as this would constitute economic activity.

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