In Latvia, the church property will impose taxes

Church property in Latvia the government intends to tax. In 2012, the consolidated budget will be, among other things by increasing property tax levies to the church property. It is true that the effectiveness of such a move is highly questionable.

In the first phase scheduled to discuss tax the houses belonging to the churches and communities, as well as adjacent land. An exception could be done to homes that are used for religious activities and charity.

However, during the negotiations, it was agreed that the new requirements will extend only to the living space, which is leased. As a result, the financial benefit to the budget will be minimal. Moreover, congregations and communities are now paying tax on municipalities leased premises.

As explained by the representative of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ivar Kuptsis, new requirements can become very heavy burden for small parishes, which because of the crisis is difficult to make ends meet. In addition, if the Church will have to pay more taxes, then inevitably rise and rents.

The representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Latvia Andris Kravalis priest noticed that in all the Church belongs to Riga only three objects that can be rented out. Thus, the special sense in the new tax rules do not.

According to the Land Service, the summer of 2011 religious organizations in Latvia owned 793 houses. Most of them are used in religious activities, so the property tax to pay for them is not necessary.

The Ministry of Finance estimates that by changing the rules, you can collect the churches further 144 thousand lats (288 thousand dollars), but the real figure could be much lower, said “Blagovest-info”.