Italian archbishop threatens to close Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes
May 24, 2016
An Italian archbishop has vowed to close down Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes on them.
Archbishop Luigi Negri of Ferrara-Comacchio sent a plea to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, urging him to overturn a decision by the Ferrara to collect taxes on schools. The city is demanding payment of over $100,000 in back taxes, arguing that because the schools charge tuition they are engaged in "commercial activity" and subject to ordinary property taxes.
Archbishop Negri rejects that line of argument, saying that the Catholic schools represent a service to students and to the community. He says that the archdiocese does not have funds available to pay the tax bill, and "we will be forced to close the private schools."
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