The process for adjusting objective values (property rates used for tax purposes) is fast turning into a fiasco, as it appears unlikely the project can be completed in time, while the Finance Ministry doesn’t seem to have an alternative plan either.
Ministry data show that there has been little response from special property surveyors who had been asked to recommend new objective values to conform with market rates for areas outside the capital. The ministry has even issued a fresh call for assessors to undertake the various Greek regions’ zone price estimates.
In the first stage of the process only one in every three certified surveyors declared that they would participate in the procedure.
Now a ministry official says the government has not worked on a contingency plan in case there are no applications for areas such as Larissa, Ioannina, Kozani, Lesvos and Iraklio, among others, with 2,694 areas reported to have no surveyors reporting.
Wednesday is the deadline for assessors to file an application, and according to both participants and nonparticipants, the new zone rates will come directly from the surveyors’ desks: They will try to telephone notaries and estate agents, and even use classified ads and the register of the Finance Ministry in order to reach a market rate assessment.
That means there will be hardly any on-site inspections, in what seems a strange way to establish the going prices. Even participants speak of a paradoxical process, with the 20 days provided clearly not enough; what is more, property market professionals stress that the rates will not correspond to reality given that most areas of the country have not witnessed any transactions for some years.
The rates that surveyors will submit for the country’s 10,000 zones are not binding for the ministry – they may well be corrected or rejected by the second-degree committee the ministry will set up to evaluate the work of the surveyors. At any rate, it looks like the bailout program’s March 31 deadline for the new objective values will not be met.