THE GOVERNMENT has almost finalised a new bill for the taxation of properties that will be put before a plenary session of the Cypriot parliament later this week.
According to Socrates Hassikos, the Cyprus Interior Minister, a fairer system of property taxation will be proposed for deputies to consider in which every registered owner will be required to pay.
Mr Hassikos suggested that the revised taxation will be based on the assessed 1980 value of properties, which will be achieved by amending the value bands.
Under the present legislation approximately 78,000 home owners are exempted from paying any property tax as the 1980 value of their properties falls below the €120,000 threshold at which this tax becomes payable.
The previous property tax proposal put forward by the AKEL adminstration, which aimed to raise €180 million and which reduced the tax free threshold to €40,000, was rejected when hoteliers, landowners and developers protested saying that the changes would drive the economy deeper into recession.
Under the bailout deal reached with the EU, Cyprus must ensure additional revenues from property taxation of at least €75 million – and the passing of a relevant bill is a prerequisite for receiving the first tranche of the bailout from the EU.