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Cyprus ministers confirm property tax plan

Following their meeting earlier today, the Cyprus Finance and Interior Ministers have confirmed the government plans for its proposed reappraisal of the Island’s property tax system.

ONLY 2% of Cypriots and those who have properties exceeding €1 million will be affected by the measure and not 90% as reported by the opposition”, said Mr. Stavrakis after his meeting with Interior Minister Neoclis Silikiotis earlier today.

The Finance Minister reiterated that the Cyprus government under the leadership of President Christofias “will not allow the taxation of the poor but the global economic crisis will burden those who have huge properties”.

Interior Minister Neoclis Silikiotis also referred to the hidden interests behind opposition party DISY’s reactions to the plan.

Everybody must think of his/her position before speaking publicly. Maybe the taxation of real estate is something that bothers them too”, he said.

Today, only 1.3% pays taxes on properties while 98.7% do not”, he clarified.

Based on 1980 values, properties valued below €170 thousand are not taxed. With the new revaluation, properties valued below €1 million will not be taxed and with this new readjustment more than 80% of the citizens will not be taxed”, he added.

Officials expect more precise details on the changes in the law in four weeks or so.

Initial estimates from the Ministry are that the law would pass in less than a year but more probably in around three to four months.  However, its application requires land and asset valuation surveys to be completed across the entire island. In a press release, the Landowners’ Association (KSIA) said this was likely to take four or five years to complete “at a minimum”.

Mr. Silikiotis reminded commentators that the bill on urban land consolidation is still pending before the Parliament, while deliberations on the measures for undeveloped plots and the simplification of the procedures involved in issuing Title Deeds are still in progress.

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