Czech lawmakers approve taxation of church restitution plan

Czech lawmakers approve taxation of church restitution plan
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 10, 2019 file photo, the sun sets behind the St. Vitus cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic. On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Czech Parliament's lower house has overridden a veto of the upper house to approve a proposal drafted by Communist lawmakers to tax the compensation that the country's churches receive for property seized by the former Communist regime. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/File)

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech lawmakers have approved a proposal drafted by Communist lawmakers to tax the compensation that the country’s churches receive from the state for property seized by the former Communist regime.

Tuesday’s 114-57 vote in favor of the proposal in the lower house is a further sign of the rising influence of the Communists. The Communist Party is not part of the center-left ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, but it has provided support in a confidence vote.

The lower house first approved the proposal in January but the Senate vetoed it a month later.

Churches in the country have had some property held by the state returned, and they are also to receive around billion over 30 years. They oppose the tax and plan to sue.