ATHENS – Capitalizing on the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA’s failure to abolish the hated ENFIA property tax surcharge – instead increasing it to meet the demands of the country’s creditors – the New Democracy government said it will be cut 30 percent.
It will take two years to do that as the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) will be monitoring Greece’s economy to make sure fiscal targets are hit.
Those were set under the terms of an 86-billion euro ($96.93 billion) third bailout in the summer of 2015 that former Premier Alexis Tsipras sought and accepted saying he wouldn’t and agreeing to keep the tax before he tried to roll it back before the July 7 snap elections he lost to the Conservatives.
The new tax bill that the Finance Ministry plans to submit to Parliament by the end of the month, said Kathimerini, will call for the cut beginning, with sources it didn’t name saying there will be a 20 percent cut in 2020 and 10 percent the year after, in 2021.
That will cost the state budget a loss of 565 million euros ($636.78 billion) in the first year and an additional 285 million euros ($321.21 million) in 2021 as part of new Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ pledge for tax cuts.
He said the lost revenues will be made up for in growth as he plans to cut the corporate rate from the 29 percent set by SYRIZA during an avalanche of tax hikes and new fees set by Tsipras before he tried to wiggle out of them.
The changes mean property owners who pay 500 euros ($563.53) in ENFIA each year will see a 100-euro ($112.71) cut in 2020 and 50 euros ($56.35) more in 2021 for a combined total of 150 euros or $170.06 annually.
Owners of large properties paying 2,500 euros ($2817.63) in ENFIA per year will get a 500-euro ($563.53) reduction next year and another 10 percent in 2021 as Mitsotakis moves to make good on his word.
This year’s ENFIA will be calculated in August, when the pay notices will be forwarded to owners, with the first of the five installments due by end-September and the last one due by the end of January, 2020.