NICOSIA - Opposition party Akel yesterday slammed the new property tax as unfair since it shifts the tax burden to small owners, while calling on the government to reconsider the entire philosophy behind it.
Home owners have started to receive the newly increased property tax bill through the post as dictated by the Troika as a way of raising much needed state revenue.
But Akel disagrees that the new formula for upping the tax was a Troika recommendation.
“Choosing to impose property tax in this way is not a result of the Troika’s demands but a product of political choices made by Disy and Diko and the Anastasiades administration, which often operates as a worse Troika than the Troika itself,” said Akel spokesman Giorgos Loukaides.
He stressed that the two parties have hampered the legislation drawn up by the previous government which exempted owners of low-value property and first home owners, which comes to 78%.
According to Akel, the new property tax will affect the low income pensioners, the unemployed, refugees and vulnerable groups in general, as well as the low paid whose earnings have been significantly reduced.
Meanwhile, as home owners have started to receive their property tax bills through the post, dozens have complained to the Inland Revenue Department over the excessive amount they are being asked to pay, requesting information with regards to the way the value of their property has been calculated.
Tax payers complain the letters they received do not contain an analytical breakdown of their various properties and the estimated values, but only a total amount of the estimated values as of January 1, 2013. This is based on the property’s market value in January 1980 and the tax amount owed.