Left proposes tax on large and empty apartments

Ljubljana – The opposition Left has tabled a bill introducing a tax on empty and large houses and apartments to tackle the shortage of homes as estimates show that there are about 175,000 empty apartments around the country.

According to the party, real estate agents estimate that around 30% of all real estate transactions are purchases of real estate as an investment. “This trend is the consequence of an absence of any kind of housing policy and inappropriate taxation of real estate,” the party said.

It noted that revenue from taxes on real estate and other assets were “shamefully low” in Slovenia, accounting for just 1.8% of all tax revenue, while the OECD average is 5.7%.

Estimates show that there are 175,000 empty apartments in the country, while there is demand for 30,000 public apartments that would be offered for rent, the Left said.

The new tax would be paid by real estate owners and could not be transferred to tenants or other users of the real estate.

The tax would be calculated based on the value of the real estate as determined in the mass appraisal of real estate. If the owner or their close family members permanently resided in the building, 120 square metres of residential surfaces would be deducted from the figure, meaning people living in such or smaller apartments would not pay the tax.

The bill proposes different tax rates for real estate depending on their use, with the highest rate envisaged for empty real estate.