Secular Hungary

Secular Hungary


Although the Hungarian state budget is tight, one sector is exempt from any cuts. Guess who. In Hungary, churches are entitled to receive 1% of the income tax. As more than half of the taxpayers don’t bother to tell the tax office which church they prefer (in 2011, 38% of taxpayers offered 1% of their taxes to churches and 9% to the secular alternative while 56% of the same tax payers were willing to fill out the form to offer another 1% of their income tax to an NGO), years ago the lawmaker decided that churches should receive 50% of this 1%, anyway.
Now an amendment to this law is before parliament, hidden in a bill about lots of details concerning health care. The amendment intends to increase the share of churches to 90% of the sum. Which practically means that all money except for those who until now explicitly chose the secular alternative will go to the churches, and it is not clear what happens if more than 10% of the taxpayers happen to choose the secular alternative.


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