Kouvelis: No power cuts for property tax

Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis stressed that power supply should never get cut for people who have not paid their special property tax — included in the electricity bill for this year, too — speaking on state television NET on Saturday morning.

As reports converge to the insistence of Greece?s creditors for the government to maintain the system of property tax payment that last year fetched even more money than anticipated, Public Power Corporation has once again undertaken to collect the levy on all structures with electricity supply, although this year the threat of power supply cut is removed after a recent court decision against it.

Kouvelis, one of the party leaders supporting the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, refrained from confirming PPC?s precise involvement in the tax collection as yet, but underscored that everyone should have their power supply, thereby banishing any thoughts the PPC might find a loophole to enforce the payment through power cut threats.

?What is currently being discussed is whether this tax will be incorporated in the electricity bill or form a separate pay notice to the PPC bill. I am saying this given that it is one thing having your supply cut ? and that should not happen and will not happen ? and quite another the burden of this tax,? said Kouvelis.

?An effort is currently underway based on specific data for us to deal with the scaling of this tax that will be proportionate to the taxpayer?s capacity to pay it,? he added.

Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis told Skai television that the government is not able to abolish this tax yet, but has pledged to do away with it from next year. He added that PPC will have to act as the law provides.

?PPC will implement the law and the government may make some arrangements. So far there has been no legislative intervention for the property tax of 2012. If there is a new arrangement, and there will have to be a special settlement for sensitive social groups, PPC will apply the law the Parliament will vote,? said Mitarakis.

Some reports suggest the tax will not be paid in five instalments, as originally planned for this year, but in two, as last year. The budget provides for revenues of 2.2 billion euros from this tax this year.

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