Editorial: The holy cow of real estate…

Editorial: The holy cow of real estate… | tovima.gr

The taxation of real estate is starting to be come ridiculous. It appears that they have found a magical solution for everything, however over-taxation threatens their “holy cow”. Every now and again the people are bombarded with rumors and speculation about the new unified real estate tax which will replace the emergency tax in 2014, causing confusion to people who do not even know if they have a tomorrow.

Committees of specialists and foreign experts have supposedly been working on a fair, simple and efficient tax system for months. However the three government partners never seem to be able to agree, nor will the troika gives its approval so that we can finally know what is going on. Unsurprisingly the discussion is invariably focused entirely on the unified tax and does not address the plethora of taxes that are attached to real estate. For instance, what will happen to objective values which are supposed to be revised over the next few months? Will they also increase when the market has collapsed? What will happen to transfer taxes, large property taxes, municipal taxes and charges, additional revenue tax from construction, OGA insurance contributions, stamp duties and so on…

Taxing real estate might be fair, but turning it into a holy caw that will constantly top up the government treasury is equally absurd. A significant portion of society is not the position to pay its taxes. Where there are tens of thousands of empty homes and stores, when tenants aren’t paying their rent and the construction market has collapsed, they ought to consider find another solution…

This fragmented and inefficient tax-collection politics must finally end. They should approach real estate taxation as a whole and not opportunistically. They ought to create a complete tax policy on real estate, so the people know if they can afford to pay and if it is worth investing in real estate.

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