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This blog is about my Comenius experience in Finland

Cost of religion set to rise

NewsPosted by Sylvie Hendrickx Mon, November 28, 2011 21:06:11

Many of the Lutheran faithful are to pay a bigger slice of their income to the church next year, as church taxes will rise in 37 parishes. The increases are relatively large, ranging between 0.1 and 0.15 of a percentage point.

Members of Finland’s established church, the Evangelical Lutheran church, pay a percentage of their income as a membership fee. The money is collected by the tax office and passed on to the church.

The biggest church tax rise will be in Humppila, in the south west, where the cost of Lutheran church membership will go up by 0.3 of a percentage point to 1.9 percent of a believer’s income. The largest parishes to raise taxes will be Mikkeli, Kajaani and Jyväskylä. In Mikkeli the church tax will be 1.5 percent after the rise, in Kajaani it will stand at 1.65 percent and in Jyväskylä it will be 1.45 percent.

The only fall in church taxes will occur in Konnevesi, where they will fall from 2 percent to 1.9 percent. The highest church tax is currently 2 percent, which is charged by eight parishes. Four of those parishes are in the province of Åland.

The lowest church taxes – just one percent – are levied in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Turku and Kaarina.

The Lutheran Church’s finances have suffered from resignations in recent years, following the introduction of online resignation services.

From: yle.fi, dd 28/11/2011