Amendments tabled in Parliament on Thursday by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will slightly soften the impact of a harsh new property tax imposed by the government to plug the shortfall in revenues for the unemployed, those with large families and the disabled.
Under the revised rules, the long-term unemployed registered with the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) or who received unemployment benefits from a handful of other agencies for at least six months in the previous year will be exempt from paying the tax for properties in which they are owner-occupiers.
The exemption will not apply, however, for those with a family income exceeding 12,000 euro in the previous year, increased by 4,000 euro for each dependent child.
The amendment also stipulates that lower rates of taxation will not apply if the value of the property based on 2008 tax-assessed valuations exceeds 150,000 euro, increased by 10,000 euro for each dependent child. They will also not apply if the property is in a price zone exceeding 3,000 euro per square metre or is larger than 120 square metres, increased by 20 square metre per child up to a maximum of 200 square metres.
Regardless of the price zone or age of a property, the special tax will be charged at a rate of 0.5 euro per square metre for properties where the owner-occupiers are the head of a large family (with four or more children) that had a family income up to 30,000 euro in the previous year or if they are disabled.