By George Psyllides
THE government plans to draft legislation “very soon,” integrating immovable property tax (IPT), Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Thursday.
The minister said the government was planning to submit the bill integrating state and municipal taxes before parliament closed for the summer holidays.
“This is expected to be done very soon, possibly before the House closes,” Hasikos said.
The minister added that property values have also been reassessed.
“We will be ready in the first week of June to give the entire base of reassessed values to the finance ministry,” he said.
Discussion on the rates has not yet started, he said.
Hasikos said the €100m the government wanted to collect and the €13m from the municipalities would be merged into one integrated tax.
The minister said there will not be an increase in taxation, but on the contrary, an effort would be made to have a reduction, if possible.
“The government does not want to take more than its share according to the financing needs we have,” he said.
As part of Cyprus’ bailout agreement with international lenders, authorities had to update the values of some half a million properties.
It was initially planned that the IPT for 2014 would be levied based on the up-to-date values, but the new rates will now apply for IPT payable in 2015.
The state is currently using 1980s values to calculate IPT.
The revised property valuations were made available online for owners to view and appeal if necessary.
Owners have until the end of the year to appeal the government’s valuation of their real estate.
It was reported in April that around 22,000 people had filed forms challenging the land registry’s valuation.