Two monasteries refuse to pay property tax; file court appeals

Two monasteries want to get out of paying as much as 400,000 euros worth of ENFIA

Two monasteries are refusing to pay the single property tax (ENFIA) and are calling for monasteries belonging to the Church of Greece to be exempt from the tax.

The two monasteries who object to the tax are that of St. Anastasia Farmakolytra in Halkidiki, northern Greece, which has been called to pay as much as 260,000 euros, whereas the second is Prophet Elias Monastery on Hydra, which owns property on the isles of Spetses, Aigina and across the mainland in Ermioni and Trizina, all in southern Greece. The latter objects to paying 140,000 euros in property taxes.

The two monasteries have taken their case to the high court of Greece on the grounds that they are places of worship and much of their assets are used by third parties. Two years ago, Law 4223/2013 foresaw that monasteries belonging to the Mount Athos monastic community or used as places of worship are exempt from the tax.

The same law gives no exemption to real estate belonging to the Patriarchate or churches of Greece.