Push for new objective values to come faster

Push for new objective values to come faster

The Finance Ministry is urging property surveyors to complete the alignment of property rates used for tax purposes (known as objective values) with market prices.

Having been suspended in April due to the lockdown, the process needs to be completed as soon as possible, with Minister Christos Staikouras deciding to give surveyors an October 5 deadline for the submission of their recommendations.

The reason that a deadline of just six working days is being granted is that 90% of the recommendations have already been submitted. Right after October 5, the ministry’s competent agencies will assess the input and start implementing the adjustment to objective values across the country. They will also incorporate an extra 3,000 zones into the system of objective value determination.

The European Commission’s enhanced surveillance report on Greece, published this week, stated that the project of collecting property data to set the new zone rates will have been completed by the end of the year. The agreed extension of the current zone rate system will need to be tackled next year, with a deadline set for mid-2021.

Even so, the government has not yet revealed its intentions regarding next year’s Single Property Tax (ENFIA) – i.e. whether it will manage to fulfill its pledge for an 8-10% reduction – after it was postponed until after 2020 due to the pandemic. There now are other options on the table, such as the abolition of the supplementary property tax that over half a million property owners pay.

Property market experts report that the going rates in the center of Athens have increased significantly, and would require interventions in the ENFIA rate so as not to see 2019’s 22% reduction evaporate, and even lead to a small benefit for owners in next year’s expected second wave of cuts.

By contrast, there are some areas, such as the upmarket suburbs of Athens, where older properties aged 25-30 years have seen their market prices plummet well below their objective value, the market experts say.

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