An amendment legislating for a special tax on all real estate was tabled in Parliament on Friday. Among others, this stipulates a fine that will be imposed on the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and other power providers if they do not cut the power to tax payers that refuse to pay the tax.
The amount of the fine will be equal to the amount of the tax plus 25 percent and will be paid by either the PPC or the other providers. The companies are also obliged to inform the state which tax-payers have not paid the tax so that measures for compulsory payment might be taken.
The amendment also outlines the method for calculating the amount of the tax on buildings, from which the government hopes to raise 2.6 billion euro.
It also provides clarifications concerning those exempted from the measures, such as the unemployed that do not receive unemployment benefit or Church properties.
Specifically, those that are unemployed with an annual family income of less than 8,000 euro and do not receive the Manpower Employment Agency (OAED) benefits can qualify for the lowest tax rate (0.5 euro per square metre) if they make an electronic application to the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS) so that their income can be cross-checked with the files of the tax office and other public-sector agencies.
In later clarifications, the government said that the unemployed that continued to receive the OAED benefit and had an income greater of 8,000 euro during the previous year would not qualify for the lower rate of taxation but have to pay the full rate for their zone and age of the building.
Others qualifying for the minimum rate of taxation included the heads of households with four or more children and persons that were disabled or officially had a disabled person in their care.
In all cases, the low tax rate will not apply for buildings within a price zone exceeding 3,000 euro per square metre and only for the first 200 square metres of any residence.
The PPC or other providers will then be informed so that they can calculate the tax due based on the lower rate and activate the return of any higher sum that had already been paid.
Also exempt from the tax are properties owned by the Church or religious legal entities (monasteries and nunneries) and are used exclusively as places of worship or for educational, religious or public welfare purposes.