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Within three days, the government decided that it will double the extra property tax

15 September 2011 / 19:09:56  GRReporter
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Once again, the Greek government managed to infuriate taxpayers in Greece. Three days after Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced the introduction of the extra property tax it become clear that property owners will have to pay twice the amount originally announced. 

According to the final plan of the office the fee per square meter of floor area will be from 3 to 20 euros. Even disabled groups of citizens, unemployed, retirees with very low pensions and large families will not escape from the obligation to pay. 

Owners of new homes will pay up to 20 euros per square meter and the tax on homes older than 25 years will reach 13 euros. 

The measure affects over 5 million property owners. In case they do not pay the tax which will be included in the electric bill, electricity will be disconnected. 

Ever since the morning all media negatively comment on the inconsistency and non-liability of the government which actually mislead the public. According to sources from the Ministry of Finance the change occurred after calculations showed that the figures announced on Sunday by Minister Evangelos Venizelos were not been sufficient to cover the hole in the budget for 2011 and the inevitable losses due to reduced revenue in the budget for 2012. 

The tax, which everyone calls Kharaj - on behalf of the imposition of non-Muslim population of tax within the Ottoman Empire – will be imposed on the property owner or those who have income from it in the form of usufruct. In case the owners are more than one, all will pay, depending on the percentage of ownership. Obligation to pay the tax falls on the person using the property. If the person is a tenant, the paid tax amount with the bill will be deducted from the current or future monthly rent. 

A special rate is provided for the poor of half a euro per square meter, regardless of the age of the building as long as it is located in an area where the cost per square meter area shall not exceed three thousand euros. 

The Ministry imposed a tax on ordinary taxpayers, with no regard to their current financial capacity, but tried to let off the hook all buildings belonging to the Greek Church. Churches, monasteries, religious foundations and all buildings belonging to them are not included in the new tax list and thus provoked the wrath of thousands of Greeks.

To mitigate the social effects Archbishop Jerome said that the Church can accept to be taxed for all buildings and premises which it gives out for rent. He proposed those properties which are not being rented, to be exempted because the church has no income from them. The proposal of the head of the Greek Church was not welcomed by the public. People resent how it is possible to pay taxes even for their derelict properties and the Church, which owns a huge property, not to pay anything again. 

Meanwhile, lawyers warn that the imposition of the tax by a user account issued by the company introduced by a stock, can cause problems in the event that any of the users decided to request the assistance of the court. The taxpayers association in Greece, which was created a year ago, has already announced its intention to commence litigation with the financial institution. 

Organizations of construction companies believe that the new taxes will destroy their industry, and problems between owners and tenants of homes are yet to come. It is not clear as what will happen if the owner decides not to pay the tax, due to which the tenant will remain without electricity. 

In turn unionists in the power company say that the new measure will have serious consequences for them as well, because now the total amount of unpaid bills of customers is over 750,000 euros. 350,000 of them are considered "unsure", i.e. it is very likely not to be paid by debtors. "If to that amount we also add all those who do not have the ability to pay the tax and therefore will not pay the electricity bills, this will be the end of DEI" they say. 

Tags: tax real estate propertyGreece measures
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