Property developers plan to pay their outstanding property taxes in installments, the spokesman of the Land Developers Association Andreas Santis said on Thursday.
He was commenting on yesterday's report in Phileleftheros and The Cyprus Daily that Inland Revenue has started taking legal action against 32 companies which owe €10.6 million in property tax.
Santis said that the association had asked its members about the issue and been told that they planned to visit the Inland Revenue Department and ask for arrangements to be made so that they can pay in installments.
He added that companies wanted to pay but were unable to do so because of other obligations.
"It's not that they don't want to pay. They do not have the money and cannot pay," he said adding that more than 50% of what was due was owed on behalf of third parties. He explained that developers have already sold a significant part of the property for which they are being taxed but the deeds have not yet been issued.
Cyprus Hotel Association chairman Haris Loizides said that despite the unfair and unorthodox method of taxation, it was clear from the lists published that the overwhelming majority of hoteliers have paid.
He expressed the hope that the government and House would fulfill their obligation to re-examine the specific tax so as to make it fairer. Under the current economic conditions, the hotel sector has paid about 30% of the money raised from this tax, he added.
The Cyprus Sports Association said that it had submitted an objection to Inland Revenue last September, adding that it considered it unfair it should be included in the list of companies that have not fulfilled their obligations. It added that most of its property involves sports stadiums which are of public benefit and exempted under a cabinet decision of 1992. However, since Cyprus' accession to the EU and changes in the law, it is unclear whether the exemption remains in force.
The Land development Organisation, which was also included in the list of companies that owe more than €100,000 in property tax, said that some money had already been paid.