CYPRUS Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos has said that a bill is swiftly being prepared to increase the amount of Immovable Property Tax being collected as required by the bailout terms agreed with the troika.
The government currently collects around €29 million in Immovable Property Tax and the first instalment of the bailout is conditional on a bill being passed that will increase that amount by at least €75 million.
Immovable Property Tax is based on the value of a property at 1st January 1980 and the Memorandum of Understanding calls for the extra tax to be raised by:
- Adjusting 1980 values by the Consumer Price Index 1980 – 2012 and/or
- Amending tax rates and/or
- Amending value bands.
Last month the government scrapped a bill on Immovable Property Tax put forward by the Christofias administration, which aimed to raise €180 million. Hoteliers protested saying that the bill would have increased the amount of tax a hotel would have to pay by 900 per cent. Landowners and property developers also protested saying that the changes would drive the economy deeper into recession.
The new bill will be placed before a plenary session of the House as soon as possible.