FOLLOWING the article we published last year (Land Registry myth exploded) the Auditor General’s report for 2013 reveals that the government is unable to collect taxes from some 305,000 people because Land Registry records do not contain their ID card numbers.
Of those 305,000 approximately 207,000 are owned by Greek Cypriots according to Land Registry figures at July 2014.
The 1980 taxable value of these properties amounts to €1.7 billion representing 10.1% of the total taxable values of all properties, which amounts to €16.5 billion.
Furthermore, as Land Registry taxable values are used to assess local property taxes, municipal taxes, sewerage system charges, etc., both the government and local authorities are being denied significant amounts of money.
In his report Auditor General General Odysseas Michaelides recommends that the relevant government and local authority departments work together and develop a plan to resolve the problem with the help of the property owners themselves.
Title Deeds backlog
Michaelides was pessimistic that the Land Registry could achieve the target agreed between the Troika and the government to reduce the Title Deed backlog to less than 2,000 cases pending for more than a year by 31st December.
He reported that during the first six months of 2014 a mere 7,014 Title Deeds were issued and, by 11th July, a further 23,300 remained in the queue waiting to be issued.