Many property zone rates are still up in the air

Many property zone rates are still up in the air

Just hours before the announcement of the adjusted “objective values” (property rates used for tax purposes), some 800 zone rates still hadn’t been delivered due to insufficient data. The announcement will be followed by two amendments in Parliament.

Last weekend the Finance Ministry’s Electronic Governance Department conducted dozens of trial calculations of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) based on the new objective values to establish whether the target of 3.2 billion euros would be reached or exceeded. Ministry officials estimate that the new ENFIA will come to 3.5 billion euros according to the new values and existing tax rates.

The same officials said on Monday that the ministerial decision about the zone rates would be issued within 24 hours and that two amendments would be tabled in Parliament immediately afterward.

The delay in the announcement of the new objective values is due to the fact the list is still full of gaps. Until Monday afternoon the ministry’s secondary committee still had not submitted some 800 zone rates for approval. About 300 of them had only one estimate by surveyors while regarding the other 500 the distance between the two or more proposed prices was too great for an official value to be established.

The first amendment to reach Parliament will provide that this year’s ENFIA, due from September to January 2019, will be calculated on the new objective values, and not according to those applying on January 1 of the year, as the law provides.

The second, which may be favorable to many property owners, may also provide for an increase in the supplementary property tax, and quite possibly changes to the main ENFIA rates too. That will happen if the trial calculations show that the sum owners will be asked to pay exceeds 3.2 billion euros.

Ministry officials say that there will be some balancing interventions, probably including the increase of the tax-free threshold of the supplementary tax from 200,000 to 250,000 euros or even more. It is also possible that areas with low zone rates which are set to see a hike in objective values will get an ENFIA rate cut.

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