Senate votes against taxing church restitutions

The Senate has voted against the Communist party proposal to tax restitutions paid out by the state to various religious organisations including the Catholic Church and the Czech Jewish Community. Aside from the opposition, the senators who voted against the bill also included the Social Democrats, a junior partner in Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s government. The proposal will now return to the Chamber of Deputies, which can by-pass the Senate if it votes in favour of the bill again. However, the opposition says it will bring the issue to the Constitutional Court if this happens.

Aside from returning property, the current restitution law passed enacted in 2013 counts on paying church organisations CZK 59 billion crowns divided into annual payments over a period of 30 years. The proposed restitution bill would tax these pay-outs reducing the total payment to CZK 48 billion.