Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made some promises over the weekend to ease the tax burden of property owners but real estate experts slammed the news, saying the government is adopting a nightmare scenario.
At an annual keynote economic speech made in Thessaloniki on Saturday, Tsipras announced some tax relief for the crisis-hit Greeks in a bid to give the economy a push and a lift to his party’s sagging popularity.
Among the changes announced, the premier said the Enfia property tax will be reduced for lower income groups by up to 50 percent. The measure will be completed in two phases: the first in January 2019 and the second in January 2020.
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In response to the news, the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA) said that its worst fears are coming true.
The tax cut will not affect middle income property owners that have been hit hardest by the government’s austerity drive. Instead they will have to pay extra taxes to cover the benefit provided to low income groups, POMIDA said in a statement.
According to some estimates, the annual benefit from Tsipras’ tax cut will be around 50 euros per year for some 1.7 property owners.
POMIDA also said that the goverment is putting back on the table the scenario of replacing the Enfia tax with a large property tax in a move that defies all logic. This would result in a tax that most property owners would not be able to pay and lead to the "Waterloo" of state income from the real estate sector, it added.