The Slovenia Times

Government Caught in Real Estate Tax Fiasco



Among those critical of the cabinet's most recent move is also People's Party (SLS) President Franc Bogovič. He urged Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek to resign over "the fiasco with the real estate tax".

The government changed the act today in an attempt to calm the criticism fuelled by complaints due to wrong data and incomplete records.

Under the changes adopted today, all residential housing will be taxed with a 0.15% rate, a move that addresses one of the main complaints of property owners. Previously buildings without registered residents, such as second homes, were taxed at a higher, 0.5% tax rate.

Bogovič moreover pointed out that the changes fail to address the issues currently being examined by the Constitutional Court. He believes that the government should freeze the tax until 2016.

Bogovič also believes that the entire concept of the act is wrong, a view shared by opposition Democrats (SDS) head Janez Janša.

The president of the biggest opposition party moreover said that the act would be abolished after the next general election, which he believes should be called as soon as possible.

The OZS meanwhile repeated its warnings that a 0.75% tax rate on commercial real estate, which remains unchanged, would have devastating consequences for the economy. OZS vice president Branko Meh said that the tax will chop off 230,000 jobs in small companies.

Alojzij Kovšca, a national councillor, said at an open session of the Constitutional Court dedicated to the real estate tax that the changes were populistic but caused confusion.

While the existing act remains in force, the Constitutional Court has said it will rule on the act by 1 April and the government is drafting new changes, he illustrated.

Kovšca also said that the National Council has been advising against fast tracking the real estate bill through parliament and the failure to address the broader issues. He believes this situation continues and that the situation is becoming increasingly complicated.

Erik Kerševan, a legal representative of the National Council, said at the Constitutional Court session that the government's decision to change the act in haste without waiting for the Constitutional Court's decision would cause more problems.

A similar view was expressed by the Association of Municipalities and Towns. Darko Fras, a member of the association's presidency, said at the side of the Constitutional Court session that the changes were not good for legal safety. The Association of Municipalities, on the other hand, is happy with the changes.


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