The range of coverage of the 40 percent discount on rent payments for the month of April for enterprises and workers has been expanded according to an amendment the government has tabled in Parliament. The decision has drawn a strong reaction from property owners, for whom the government has provided no breaks, and who sarcastically note that “property owners may live in another world that does not suffer any consequences from the coronavirus.”
The clause submitted for voting expands the measure that now applies to companies whose operation has been suspended by government order to all enterprises hurt by the pandemic. This also means that the workers hurt by the suspension of their contracts are treated equally to those whose companies have shuttered, as both categories can now enjoy a large discount on their residential rent.
The decision adds that all property owners who are shouldering the temporary and extraordinary reduction of their rental revenues, in the context of burden distribution due to the health crisis, will have a four-month suspension of their tax obligations, including the payment of installments toward tax dues. If they do not make use of this suspension they will enjoy a 25 percent discount on the taxes they pay.
However, as the federation of property owners (POMIDA) noted in a strongly worded statement Monday, the tax obligations for most property owners will begin after the expiry of the four-month period with the payment of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA).
POMIDA adds that it is morally unacceptable to grant support to enterprises and workers by snatching cash from the pockets of the property owners. It is also unacceptable, it stresses, to make a single exclusion from the measures – i.e. the property owners, who are not only granted no relief, but are also forced to see their incomes reduced. Therefore the federation is asking the government to introduce a horizontal reduction to ENFIA by 25 percent this year for all taxpayers – individuals and corporations – who are consistent with their payments.