ECONOMY

Objective values to stay, for now

objective-values-to-stay-for-now

Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis on Thursday announced an end to the system of using so-called “objective values” to determine property taxes, and its replacement with a new system based on market prices.

Addressing an event organized by the Economic Chamber of Greece a couple of days after a verdict by the Council of State effectively ordered the government to update the objective values, Alexiadis said that the ministry would stick to its original planning: replacing the objective system of determining the value of properties with a new one based on the actual commercial prices within 2016.

This new system will track the course of market prices, allowing for the automatic adjustment of property values used for taxation purposes. Therefore, every time there is a shift in the going prices, the property values will be immediately adjusted in the ministry’s electronic database.

Alexiadis made it clear that the new property tax to replace the existing Single Property Tax (ENFIA) in 2016 will be based on commercial rates and not objective values. He added that the government is seeking to lighten the burden on small property owners, shifting it toward bigger owners. Sources say that the ministry wants properties valued at 50,000 euros or below to be tax-exempt.

The verdict of the country’s highest administrative court, ruling that the ministry should adjust the objective values retroactively from May 21, 2015, “is not anything we should respond to today or tomorrow,” according to Alexiadis. He did stress that the ministry will meet its obligations regarding court decisions or other commitments that have been postponed.

That means the government is in no rush to comply with the CoS ruling but will simply await the proposals of the four committees on the objective values in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Patra by Tuesday. Alexiadis also reiterated that the verdict will change nothing regarding this year’s ENFIA, as it was based on the objective values as they stood on January 1, 2015.