NEWS

Property tax drive starts with problems

Public Power Corporation on Tuesday announced that it has set up a special hotline to deal with hundreds of complaints from consumers around the country who have received larger-than-expected bills for an emergency property tax levied through their electricity bill.

According to the majority of complaints received by PPC representatives across Greece, the square meterage of hundreds of properties — which is one of the factors in the complex formula used to assess property tax, together with the location and age of the property, and the so-called objective value, a bracket set by the Finance Ministry to control real estate prices — was inflated.

It is the job of each individual municipality to submit to PPC the details of every declared property in its domain, with which it levies the municipal tax that is also charged through PPC bills. A spokesperson for PPC on Tuesday said that the discrepancies in the new emergency property tax are the responsibility of the municipal authorities rather than the electricity provider, though it added that consumers who have any questions regarding the tax they are being asked to pay can call the toll-free hotline on 214.214.1000 for advice.

In the case of sensitive social groups, like pensioners and disable people, the General Secretariat for Information Systems of the Finance Ministry has set up an SMS (on tel 54160) and web (http://www.gsis.gr/faq/faq_eta.html) service to deal with claims of over-charging.

Other consumers who believe that they are being asked to pay more than their proper dues are required to pay their property tax and PPC in full and to then apply for a refund via their next electricity bill.

PPC has been ordered to cut the electricity supply of anyone who refuses to pay the property tax.