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Cyprus

Government aims to collect €100m through IPT

By Constantinos Psillides
THE government aims to collect €100 million in Immovable Property Tax (IPT) Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Saturday, adding that a bill reforming IPT must be put to a plenum vote before the House closes for summer vacation.
Since July 10 is the last session and parties have objections to the bill, Hasikos will probably have to ask for an extraordinary session.
“This is not the first time something like that has happened. A number of times in the past the House was called back for an extraordinary session to take care of outstanding issues and I’m positive that the same thing will happen now, if need be,” he said, explaining that there is some reaction by MPs on the proposed bill.
The bill, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers only a week ago, exempts property valued up to €200,000 from IPT, while properties valued in excess of €200,000 will now be charged at 0.1 per cent.
Current legislation calculated property tax using 1980 valuations, levying a tiered tax from 6 to 19 per cent, depending on value brackets. Revised property values to reflect 2013 prices have now been established, meaning the government can afford to adjust tax brackets accordingly.
Hasikos made clear that the bill isn’t written in stone but its goal is. “We are looking to collect €100 million, the same amount we collected last year. If House parties have suggestions to make regarding the bill we are of course willing to discuss them, as long as the amount we are going for is guaranteed.”
Reactions to the bill come mainly from opposition party AKEL.
The House interior committee revealed on July 4 several concerns over the way property revaluation to 2013 prices was made.
Until now, properties were valued at 1980 values for taxation purposes, but these were revised by the Land and Surveys department to reflect 2013 values. A land registry official told the committee that some areas saw property values revised at six times their previous value and others at 36.
After the session, committee chairman Yiorgos Lamaris said that committee members also expressed reservations with regard to the bill stipulating that local authorities will be required to reduce property taxation from 0.15 per cent to 0.022 per cent, in order to take account of 2013 prices.

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