ECONOMY

Expensive properties to cover tax gap

The Finance Ministry’s plans for the 2014 property tax are some 1 billion euros off the target for 3.2 billion euros in revenues.

According to one ministry official, the new property tax, which will incorporate most existing ones, will exempt small properties valued up to 50,000 euros provided the numbers add up for the tax to meet its target.

So far the ideas processed add up to a fiscal benefit of 2-2.3 billion euros: Some 1 billion euros will come from taxing city properties, 400-500 million from corporate real estate and Church of Greece properties, and 500-600 million euros from properties outside town planning.

The gap will have to be covered by three property categories, i.e. expensive urban properties (homes, stores and plots within town planning) whose taxation could rise, farms, and company properties. One idea sees the imposition of high tax rates on properties with an estimated value in excess of 300,000 euros. Corporate properties may also be taxed, depending on the purpose of their use. Properties utilized by the Church could be taxed at a rate of 0.1-0.3 percent.