Govt relents on imposing property tax in rural, unzoned areas

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 08:05
SOOC/Nikos Libertas
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The government on Monday announced that it won’t impose the supplementary version of an unpopular property tax (ENFIA) on farmland, pastures and other land held outside town planning and zoned boundaries by individuals, leaving the owners of property in urban and semi-urban areas, especially residential units, to foot the bill.

According to the finance ministry, the supplementary provisions of the ENFIA tax would have “unjustly burdened hundreds of thousands of farmers and other land owners with extremely high (property tax) rates”.

The decision was added as a rider to a draft bill on combating bootleg tobacco products.

 In a related development, the ministry’s leadership said the issuance of property tax statements for 2016 will be delayed by a month or so, meaning in August.

Five installment payments are again envisioned, up until January 2017.

According to reports, the government hastily retreated from its original intention to extend the tax to rural areas because of “political costs”.

The very existence of the property tax remains a "political burden" for the leftist Tsipras government, given that while in the main opposition today's ruling SYRIZA party had vilified the tax and promised to immediately rescind it once in office.

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