Greece scrambles to lower property tax values, meet deadline

Greece to cut property tax values

Greece is scrambling to lower the tax values of property by the end of the year in order to meet a commitment made to the country's international creditors.

These tax values are used by the country's revenue collectors to determine taxes payable on real estate. They have remained unchanged during the country's eight year economic slumps and despite a 45% drop in property prices recorded during this period.

This means that taxes are paid on amounts well above actual market prices, distorting the property sector.

In a bid to meet the end year deadline demand made by Greece's lenders- the International Monetary Fund and eurozone nations- the Finance Ministry set up this week a committee to adjust the tax values, said a senior government official Wednesday.

Critics say that Finance Ministry has little time to prepare the groundwork for what is perceived to be a major change in the tax system, saying that it is likely to miss the deadline. Finance Ministry officials deny this, saying that they will complete the work in time.