It’s sad that Italy, the physical home of the Vatican, is going to enforce a law that the United States would never be caught dead even considering. Effective January 1, 2012, there will no longer be a religious tax exemption for churches. For years, the Vatican has been required to pay property taxes on any commercial real estate, even if it was wholly owned and operated by the church, but exceptions were made if any sort of religious practice were set up within the building. If there was a chapel or a prayer room or a religious bookshop anywhere inside, they could claim religious exemption and get away tax-free.
Now, all of that is changing. The Vatican will be required to pay taxes on all commercial real estate, regardless of what religious functions take place inside. This could net the financially struggling Italy more than 25.5 million Euros per year, just in Rome. Nation-wide, it could be in the hundreds of millions of Euros.
The RCC is trying to fight it, of course, I guess they think all the gold and precious jewels they have laying all over the place aren’t nearly enough riches for them. I guess the original sin against gluttony just doesn’t apply to the Church.