'We pay taxes too,' says the Church

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece has responded to criticism that it does not pay enough in taxes to help prop up the cash-strapped state, by publishing a detailed list of the taxes and contributions it has paid in 2011. According to the report, the Church of Greece last year paid around 12.6 million euros in income and property taxes, among which were a 20 percent tax on rent collected from Church-owned property, an additional 3 percent tax each on property used for religious or charitable functions, as well as on land, and an 8 percent tax on payments for services rendered. “The Church of Greece has never requested unequal tax treatment in relation to other Greek nonprofit organizations,” the Holy Synod said in its statement. “We pay taxes too.” The response comes as stiff austerity measures imposed by Greece’s creditors have heightened calls for the Church to pay more taxes and provide the salaries for its clerics, which currently come from state coffers.


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