ECONOMY

Property tax revenue lags target

It is unlikely that the state coffers will see anywhere near as much money as expected by the George Papandreou government from the Special Property Tax, levied on citizens via electricity bills, as the first signs have been rather disappointing.

An estimated 2.8 million bills have been printed with levies totaling around 600 million euros, which are either in the mail or have already reached property owners. Some 86,000 of those bills passed their pay-by dates last week, but only 42 million euros was collected as far as the property tax is concerned. The original target for the application of the measure for this year was for 2 billion euros.

Public Power Corporation officials estimate that a more representative picture of the measure?s success will be available this week, when a large number of bills are set to pass their payment deadline.

However the officials have noted a certain delay compared with the previous record of bill payments, which they are also attributing to the political uncertainty seen in the last couple of weeks. They further predict that many will make the most of the 20-day grace period they get between the pay-by date of their bills and the time their electricity supply is cut off.

Meanwhile, confusion continues about a number of issues concerning the calculation of the surface on which the property tax is based. A number of owners are resorting to court action and certain municipalities have issued arbitrary calls on their citizens not to pay the tax yet.