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Slovenia proposes property tax on churches, other houses of worship

CWN - October 01, 2013

The Slovenian Bishops’ Conference joined with representatives of the Serbian Orthodox, Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Muslim communities in denouncing a proposed property tax on houses of worship, including parishes and monasteries.

Other properties owned by religious organizations are currently taxed.

“The taxes would significantly increase the cost of upkeep of many buildings that are used for religious activities, particularly liturgy, and would lead to a direct abridgement and even abolishment of liturgical, educational and charitable activities in our communities of faith,” the religious leaders said in their joint statement. “We point out that the Law is discriminatory, as it subjects the faithful to double taxation, first as citizens and then as members of communities of faith.”

“The entire burden of these property taxes will be borne by the faithful, if they wish to hold on to the liturgical and other buildings necessary for the realization of the constitutionally guaranteed right to free exercise of religion,” they added. “We emphasize that no member state of the European Union and no other comparable democratic European state has a tax law of this kind; hence we consider it extremely inappropriate.”

The nation of 2.0 million is 79% Catholic; its two leading prelates resigned in July amid a debt scandal.

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