By George Psyllides
THE government does not object to parliament amending the provisions of the immovable property tax (IPT) bill, Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said yesterday, as parties appeared to favour using the same values as last year, possibly with lower rates.
“There is possibly a fairer way of distributing the tax burden … and the government has no objection for the House to proceed with amendments,” Hasikos said.
The majority of parties consider the government bill as unfair because it shifts the burden on owners of mid-value properties.
The most probable scenario is the extension of the current regime – taxing properties based on 1980 values possibly at a lower rate since 300,000 new properties have been added to the mix from last year.
“We agree, as a temporary solution, to implement last year’s regime, which was staggered,” Greens’ party MP Giorgos Perdikis said.
IPT in 2013 exempted properties valued up to €12,500. Reports said MPs may raise the tax-free threshold to €40,000.
Some 44 per cent of owners were not taxed last year and will not be taxed this year. Despite the mistakes, the system was fairer, Perdikis said.
DIKO is expected to submit a proposal for owners of a home to pay the tax and not the developers, when no title deeds were available.
The government was also looking to table a proposal to settle the matter with developers.
Meanwhile, Hasikos rejected talk that he was behind the horizontal tax rate.
“The government’s decisions were collective and are taken by the cabinet,” Hasikos said. “Therefore, each minister is obliged to respect and defend these decisions, including the interior minister.”