Final touch to be put to property tax

Homebuyers will hear the government’s proposals next week on changes to property taxes, in what could have a major impact on the real estate market, after the finance minister discussed the measures with his aides yesterday. The announcements will help end a period of uncertainty in the industry – which has been left guessing what the state’s next move will be as it tries to use the booming property market to help lift sagging government revenues. The budget looks to be in trouble in the first half of the year, despite the recent increase in value-added tax to 19 percent from 18 percent. Among the changes that are expected to be announced by Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is the imposition of value-added tax on new buildings. Additionally, the prices used by the tax office to determine the tax payable on the transfer of property are expected to rise. Meanwhile, tomorrow the government is due to announce its plans on how it intends to stamp out illegal fuel trade, a business that robs more than a billion euros a year from state coffers.

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