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Reaction of the National Consistory of Jehovas Witnesses to the State Council decision

Law/tax law/property tax

-June 27th 2000 -

Louviers June 23d 2000 - The National Consistory of Jehovas Witnesses has just learned about the two decisions about property taxes regarding two associations of Jehovas Witnesses in Riom and Clamecy from June 23d from the State Council.

The State Council has first decided that these two associations had indeed as object the exercize of a cult and that secondly, their activities were only religious. Moreover, the High Juridiction has rulked that the activities from these associations of Jehovas Witnesses were matching to the republican order.

Through these rulings, the State Council precised that it denies the cassation of the anterior rulings, cassation having been asked by the Minister of Economy, Finances and Industry, against two rulings from the Superior Administrative Court of Lyon, which had agreed to the property tax exemption for the religious buildings owned by Jehovas Witnesses.

This ruling of the sypreme administrative court confirms 921 rulings toward local associations for the rites of Jehovas Witnesses, gotten through 21 administrative courts since 1997. It validates as well the 65 favorable rulings of administrative courts of Marseille, Lyon, Douai and Nancy in 1999 and 2000.

This jurisprudence consecrates the strictly religious character of activities of 250000 Jehovas Witnesses who are present in the country since one century.

Copyright © 1999 Association Cultuelle les Témoins de Jéhovah de France. Tous droits réservés.

[My opinion is that the last sentence is an abuse of language; this does not at all consecrates the religious character to ALL of the activities of the Jehovas Witnesses. Like for other cults, religions etc, only the part of the activities of the JWs that are strictly non-commercial are religious. JWs ' schools or other services are still commercial ones, as far as I can understand it, and perhaps as well, the mandatory "donations" by their adepts; religious catholic schools or other wmoney making activities have also taxes to pay]

Roger Gonnet


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