Greece fails on tax in­cen­tives for home buy­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

The tax in­cen­tives be­ing of­fered in Greece to­day for the ac­qui­si­tion of a res­i­den­tial prop­erty are vir­tu­ally zero, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent anal­y­sis by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

In its study, Brus­sels uses an in­dex to mea­sure the in­cen­tives pre­sented to house buy­ers in ev­ery Euro­pean Union coun­try that fac­tors in trans­ac­tion taxes, own­er­ship taxes and tax ex­emp­tions for mort­gage in­ter­est. With the in­cen­tive in­dex read­ings rang­ing be­tween 0 and 3, Greece has scored 0 since 2012, along with France and Spain. Bul­garia, Swe- den and the Nether­lands are cur­rently on a score of 3.

In fact, 2012 was the first year that the Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (now known as ENFIA) was fully im­ple­mented, send­ing prop­erty tax rev­enues soar­ing. Bud­get data showed rev­enues of 2.8 bil­lion eu­ros in 2012, against 1.1 bil­lion in 2011 and just 500 mil­lion in 2010. Ex­pected prop­erty tax tak­ings this year come to 3.8 bil­lion eu­ros.

Greece has wit­nessed a full re­ver­sal in the way that prop­er­ties are taxed, as the weight has been shifted from trans­ac­tions to own­er­ship. In 2009, be­sides the prop- erty own­er­ship tax known as ETAK, the state also col­lected some 1 bil­lion eu­ros from trans­ac­tion tax, at a rate of 10 per­cent. To­day, trans­ac­tion tax rev­enues are no more than 100 mil­lion eu­ros, with the tax rate down to 3 per­cent and the num­ber of trans­ac­tions drop­ping from 120,000 late last decade to some 10,000 nowa­days. No­tably, this year’s ENFIA is in­creas­ing the bur­den on the own­ers of prop­er­ties in cities and towns, in com­par­i­son with own­ers of plots out­side ur­ban­ized zones.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.