Mormon church loses English temple tax fight in European rights ruling
House of Lords had earlier ruled Preston temple was not 'place of public religious worship' because access was restricted
Tuesday 04 March 2014
Ordering the Mormon church to pay local property taxes on one of its English temples is not a breach of human rights, European judges have ruled.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a religious organisation registered as a private unlimited company in the UK, was told in 2005 that it was not exempt from paying business tax on its temple in Preston, Lancashire.
The church, part of the worldwide Mormon church, took its fight to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after the House of Lords dismissed its appeal against the decision in 2008.
A panel of judges at the Strasbourg court has ruled that the denial of full rates exemption does not violate the church's members' rights to show their religious beliefs.
Around 180,000 Mormons live in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The church has two temples in the UK, with one in London as well as the one in Preston. Only the most devout members of the church, who hold a "recommend" status, are entitled to enter the temples.
The House of Lords ruled that the Preston temple was not qualified as a "place of public religious worship" since access was restricted to this select group.
All the church's places of worship that are open to the public, such as chapels, have the benefit of the full exemption from rates.
The temple, which is not open to the public, does not attract the full exemption, but does benefit from an 80 per cent reduction in rates in view of its use for charitable purposes.
The church complained that the refusal amounted to discrimination on religious grounds, in breach of Articles 14 and 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 5 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...
£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...