Sunday, February 19, 2017

European Court of Justice Advocate's Opinion on Tax Exemption For Catholic Church

In Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania v. Ayuntamiento de Getafe, (CJEU, Feb. 16, 2017), an Advocate General's opinion recommended that the Court of Justice of the European Union hold that a construction tax exemption for a school building to which the Catholic Church is entitled under a 1979 agreement between Spain and the Holy See does not violate the the ban on anti-competitive state aid set out in Art. 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The opinion allows the exemption only where any commercial educational services are merely ancillary to non-profit offerings. The exemption is allowed if at least 90% of its services are educational offerings in the context of the Church's social, cultural and educational mission.  Law & Religion UK has more on the decision.