SYRIZA Pushes ENFIA Tax Bills Release Past Bailouts End, Big Hikes Seen

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis, FILE)

ATHENS – The hated ENFIA property tax surcharge that Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras promised to scrap but continued on orders of international lenders won’t be revealed to property owners until after the end of three bailouts of 326 billion euros ($382.41 billion) on Aug. 20.

The new bills may even be delayed until after the early September Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) where Tsipras is expected to make another round of promises to help people he buried with more austerity measures after saying he wouldn’t.

The government coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos reportedly plans to celebrate the end of the bailouts – including a third for 86 billion euros ($100.88 billion) that Tsipras sought and accepted in the summer of 2015 after saying he would do neither because it came with more crushing conditions he swore he would reject but implemented.

The timing is delicate as the celebrations would also come just ahead of the ENFIA bills being required to be sent before the end of September and expected to deliver another harsh blow to at least a million property owners.

The calculation of the property tax for 6.4 million property owners will start as soon as the income tax statements, with a July 26 deadline for submission. Even though the ENFIA bills will be known by August, the government plans not to reveal them until mid-September, said Kathimerini.

The first of five monthly installments will be due by Sept. 28, giving property owners only a couple of weeks notice to pay or raise the money and not knowing until then how much the overall total will be.
have been processed; the amounts will be confirmed in mid-August, but taxpayers will not be informed before mid-September. The first of the five monthly tranches will be payable by September 28.

A new “objective values” (property prices used for tax purposes) that will show properties worth far more than they are in a depressed market will allow the government to assess higher bills, especially for medium-sized and large properties worth more than 250,000 euros ($293,260).

The new values will assign increases of 300-600 euros ($351.91-$703.82) per square meter and see many property owners have to pay an additional 1,500 euros ($1760).

It is the supplementary property tax that is about to jump, and the government is once again shifting the load to owners of large or expensive properties to keep assets in neighborhoods with lower rates at a low tax level.

Real estate analysts told the paper the new objective values were fake and distorted to bring in more money so the government can hit a target of 2.65 billion euros ($3.11 billion) required by the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) to be raised.