Welcome IBI rates drop
Massive hikes in 2015 partially compensated for after ruined town's finances were placed under State control
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.