NEWS

Property values hike

Ignoring the advice of his ministry’s advisory committee which proposed reductions in the taxable value of real estate, Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis yesterday announced sudden increases of up to 60 percent in objective property values. The decision affects 28 municipalities all over Greece, and is seen as yet another step towards raising taxable real estate values to reach the level of market prices. Fotiadis announced the new system of what the ministry designates as «objective values» yesterday, saying it would come into effect today. Hours later, the ministry hastened to clarify that the new values would apply as of February 1. The increase will considerably boost state revenues, as it means that property taxes will rise this year. It will also add to the number of property owners paying the additional tax on large real estate (which is defined as property worth 83 million drachmas for unmarried people, 166 million for married couples, with extra leeway of 21 million for their first two children.) The municipalities affected are those of Psychico (8.3 percent), Melissia (11.8 percent), Aspropyrgos (12.5 percent), Voula (22.2 percent), Filothei (13 percent), Papagou (12 percent), Nea Makri (60 percent), Nea Erythrea (10 percent), Neo Iraklion (17.2 percent), Lykovrissi (25 percent), Koropi (9.5 percent) Kalyvia (9.1 percent), Kaisariani (10.3 percent), Vouliagmeni (18.2 percent), Aetoliko (22.2 percent), Mesolongi (13.6 percent), Drama (33.3 percent), Larissa (5.6 percent), Ellomeno (7.1 percent), Argos (18.8 percent), Stylida (6.7 percent), Nafplion (10.5 percent), Filiatra (14.3 percent), Livadia (13.3 percent), Didymoteicho (45.4 percent) and Myconos (10 percent). Furthermore, prices will rise up to 10.7 percent in all administrative areas of the Municipality of Athens. The ministry’s appeals committee had proposed reducing the taxable value of property in 57 municipalities. Objective values were last increased on March 5, prompting appeals by 69 municipalities. Ministry sources said yesterday that new increases will be announced in January 2003, in order to bring taxable values in line with market prices and to allow an increase in value added tax on new buildings. Once this happens, all present property taxes will be replaced by a blanket, annual property owners tax.