The Valencia City Council and the Barcelona City Council have sealed their alliance this Tuesday to work on a modification of the Patronage Law, the main obstacle that prevents collect taxes from the Church for the economic activities carried out outside of social work or related to worship.
«The objective is to coordinate to put an end to the unfair tax benefits that the Catholic Church is receiving today in Spain, which is ceasing to pay for some economic activities for which it does any freelancer or entrepreneur pays», Has pointed out the mayor of the Valencian council, Borja Sanjuan, after having a telematic meeting with his counterpart in Barcelona, Montserrat Ballarín.
Sanjuan has indicated that the administrations are now making an effort “to try to adapt this regulation to what the law of the European Union already says and we defend from these municipalities, so that the same economic activity, taxation is the same. To date, these benefits are completely illegal and what we need is to clarify the rule to cover what the courts are already saying.
An initiative of the Government led by Joan Ribó that dates back to 2015, when Compromís and PSPV came to power, but which has not yet borne fruit. In 2019, the Valencia City Council carried out a registry that included around 1,700 stores spread throughout the city that they were exempt from paying, for example, the Real Estate Tax (IBI).
Of those who did not go to worship or residences or social activities, the consistory stopped entering, according to their calculations, about two million euros per year. Even the first receipts were issued unsuccessfully.
Most are owned by religious orders and have been leased to other companies to start a business, from a hostel to a bike rental shop or a language school. The same occurs with the private hospital Casa de la Salud -which stops paying 150,000 euros a year- or with one of the most striking cases: the building of the Catholic University of Valencia on Jorge Juan Street, one of the areas of greatest Cadastral value of the capital, which is linked to a contiguous parish, in what the municipal government has always described as unfair competition.