Wel­come IBI rates drop

Mas­sive hikes in 2015 par­tially com­pen­sated for after ru­ined town's fi­nances were placed un­der State con­trol

Costa Levante News - - FRONT PAGE - By Saman­tha Kett [email protected]­news.es

Mas­sive 2015 hikes par­tially com­pen­sated

PROP­ERTY tax for Gan­dia res­i­dents will drop slightly for 2019, help­ing to ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den after a record 24% hike in 2015.

A de­crease of 4.1% in IBI bills has been an­nounced for this year, which will off­set the catas­tral, or ba­sic land value rise of 3% re­quired by the State – val­ues upon which the an­nual as­set tax is based.

This means the ac­tual re­duc­tion on last year's rates will be 1.1%, with the rest swal­lowed up by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment hike.

Gan­dia's left-wing coali­tion lo­cal gov­ern­ment put up IBI by the max­i­mum legally per­mit­ted when it came into power in sum­mer 2015 in a bid to mop up the La Safor dis­trict cap­i­tal's record pub­lic fund debt.

The pre­vi­ous two may­ors had al­lowed this to reach an un­of­fi­cial €300 mil­lion, mak­ing Gan­dia the town with the high­est per-head debt in Spain and forc­ing it un­der gov­ern­ment 'spe­cial mea­sures' and spend­ing re­stric­tions.

Ex­treme aus­ter­ity in the past three-and-a-half years has led to a dra­matic re­cov­ery and al­lowed the coun­cil to re­duce IBI in 2017 and 2018 by a to­tal of 2.1%.

May­oress Diana Mo­rant, on the PSPV (so­cial­ists) ad­mits that this year's re­duc­tion is 'mod­est', but says it is the max­i­mum al­lowed by a town whose fi­nances are State-con­trolled.

She says the cut has been made pos­si­ble partly by Gan­dia's im­proved fi­nances, and partly by a se­ries of in­spec­tions bring­ing to light un­de­clared prop­er­ties, ex­ten­sions and other fix­tures which are now sub­ject to the rel­e­vant IBI rates, in­clud­ing com­mer­cial prop­erty which had not been pay­ing this tax.

Var­i­ous ad­just­ments in base rates ap­plied to ris­ing catas­tral fig­ures – which in­cluded a 4% hike in 2018 – have meant the 24% in­crease for home­own­ers was in fact, in real terms, only 11%.

The base rate, or per­cent­age of catas­tral val­ues charged in IBI, will fall to 0.999% in 2019, com­pared with 1.096% in 2017.

Gan­dia's lead­ers thanked res­i­dents for their 'con­certed fi­nan­cial ef­forts' over the last few years.

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