A group of 25 ruling and opposition lawmakers on Wednesday submitted a bill seeking to delay the imposition of income tax on clergy members by two years.
 
The group, including main opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Jin-pyo, cited lack of preparations as the reason for seeking the deferment.
 
The move has drawn strong protests from some civic groups, including the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy which says the delay will harm the principle of fair taxation.
 
Catholic clergies are already paying such taxes while the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism supports the implementation of the taxes.
 
The bill is expected to undergo heated debate during the National Assembly’s regular session.
 
If the bill fails to be passed, priests, monks and other religious leaders will be slapped with income taxes starting from January first of next year.