Church of Scientology should not get rate break says Birmingham councilor

Birmingham Mail/January 12, 2011

Birmingham City Council is reviewing an 80 per cent reduction in taxes it is currently offering to the controversial Church of Scientology.

The group, whose members include film stars John Travolta and Tom Cruise, is due to move to the Grade II listed Pitmaston building on Moor Green Lane, Moseley, this year.

It could be entitled to the discount under the council's discretionary business rate relief policy, because it calls itself a religion.

Yet the Church is not registered as a charity by the Charity Commission.

The council is currently one of the few local authorities in the country that give the discout to the Church of Scientology.

Councillor Martin Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley, Kings Heath) requested that this allowance is reviewed at a full cabinet meeting.

He said: "We are reviewing which organisations we give the 80 per cent discretionary rate relief to".

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