By George Psyllides
PROPERTY owners will pay this year’s immovable property tax (IPT) on rates based 1980s values, parliament decided on Thursday, after disagreements over the updated rates tabled by the government.
Parties felt that the new rates placed the burden on the owners of mid-value properties and decided to stick to the values used last year.
The proposal, approved with the votes of 53 MPs, also pushed the payment deadline to the end of November and raised the discount rate from 10 per cent to 15 per cent if the tax is paid at least 30 days before.
The proposal also provides that the tax is paid by the user of the property even if it is not registered on their name.
The provision does not apply when the fault for the lack of a title deed belongs to someone else and not the user.
Last year, developers had to pay the tax for properties without title deeds.
Parliament also passed legislation authorising the land registry to inform owners of the updated value of their properties.
The law also specifies the appeals procedure and the fees to be paid when filing one.
For properties up to €100,000, owners will be charged €37.5, €75 for properties between €100,001 and €500,000, €150 for properties up to one million euros, and €357 for those over a million euros.
The deadline for appeals is two months.
Interior minister Socratis Hasikos said owners will pay the amount that corresponds to their evaluation and the balance, if any, can be paid when the decision is made.
Taxing properties using 1980s values was considered unfair and updating them was a condition included in the terms of the island’s bailout.
As part of the bailout, Cyprus had to update real estate values by mid 2014.
Until 2013, property owners were taxed based on 1980s values with many paying peanuts and others nothing at all.