Taxing the Refunds is Unconstitutional

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The Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) of the Parliament of the Czech Republic has approved an Act on the Supplementary Taxation of Financial Compensation for Misdirected State Assets.

This, if implemented, would mean that money being repaid as compensation to the churches for the misappropriation of their assets by the State under the Communist regime would now be taxed by the State, thus substantially reducing the amount of compensation, previously agreed after much negotiation.

The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) is currently not preparing any concrete steps against this decision, but will coordinate with other churches as the need arises.

We consider the proposal to be unconstitutional and we believe that the law will not pass through the next part of the legislative process, in the Senate (the upper house), or that a review by the Constitutional Court of the CR will then be proposed by a group of Deputies or Senators.

We express our concern over the symbolism of today’s negotiations. Thirty years after the fall of the Communist regime, which wrongfully confiscated property from the Churches, the present State leaders have put us in a similar situation, again at the request of the Communists. “At this moment it is no longer just a question of the churches, it is a question of the whole society,” said Moderator Daniel Ženatý to Czech Radio Plus.

We believe that State leaders should actively pursue compliance with the treaties and commitments they previously agreed upon. They should take care of our fragile social values, rather than consciously contributing to their constant erosion. The universal prize we pay for such populist and short-sighted political action is ultimately incalculable.

26. 2. 2019, 20:54