For centuries, the church has enjoyed tax breaks and special privileges that have helped them become the ridiculously wealthy organization they are today. But as Europe's nations, cities, towns, and the general public struggle through the economic downturn, more and more people have called for an end to the special treatment.
To be clear, the taxes would not be levied on actual Churches, but rather, on their vast property holdings and commercial businesses.
In effect, anything the church owns or operates that constitutes a "non-religious" purpose, reports the Washington Post. The revenue generated would be substantial, one estimate putting the taxation figure at roughly 3 billion euros ($4 billion) just in Spain.
Aside from Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Britain have also begun efforts to tap into the Church's piggy bank, or simply stop putting money into it. New laws have mostly been on the municipal, city, and town wide level like in Spain's coastal city of Buenavista del Norte, where the mayor is trying to collect 6,000 euros ($7,850) from the church for a banana farm and rental villa they own.
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