ENFIA Property Tax Hikes Hit One Million Greek Property Owners

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis, FILE)

ATHENS – Bills for the new, dreaded ENFIA property tax surcharge that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to scrap but continued – and increased – on orders of international lenders will hit Greek property owners on Aug. 31, and some one million of them can expect sticker shock.

Some of the bills, which critics said are based on unrealistic assessments of properties, including those that are old and empty, will double, said Kathimerini, because the value of the buildings is being increased, at the same time the worth of many of them is decreasing.

Home and property owners in the affluent areas, including wealthy Athens suburbs like Filothei, Ekali and Palio Psychico, as well as in Panorama in Thessaloniki and several other areas in northern Greece will have their bills cut, benefiting the rich.

There will be increases in 3,792 parts of the country, or 37 percent of the whole, with the hike averaging mostly 3-30 percent, but those in some select Athens neighborhoods will get a 100 percent increase.

That is around Aeolou, Adrianou, Lysikratous and Vyronos streets where the zone price per square meter used for tax purposes, the alleged objective value, has been set at 3,050 euros ($3,560) from 1,750 euros ($2043) last year, making the ENFIA rate soar from 4.5 euros ($5.25) per square meter to 9.2 euros ($10.74).

On the popular tourist island of Mykonos, known for unstoppable tax evasion, the ENFIA will be 53 percent higher, the paper said.

The Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR), known as AADE in Greek, some 737,709, or 12 percent of property owners will have to pay 50 ($58.36) more in ENFIA this year (with the average at 12 percent), 160,001 will pay between 50-200 euros ($58.36-$233.44) more and 48,961 face a bill that is more than 200 euros ($233.44) steeper this year. Some 1,470,962 property owners, or 23 percent, will see a reduction in their annual ENFIA bill.

For the majority, however, the ENFIA tax will be more or less the same as last year after the Finance Ministry broadened some brackets to prevent even more hikes as the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, plunging in polls after Tsipras reneged on anti-austerity promises, is trying to keep favor with voters with elections required by October, 2019.