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Catalan Tax On Banks Targets Empty Properties

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

05 March 2014


The Catalan Government has approved a bill to introduce a tax on empty property owned by financial institutions, to address the housing crisis in the region.

The tax will be levied on banks owning properties vacant for two years, with rates varying depending on floor area.

The Government predicts that the tax will affect at least 15,000 flats owned by banks in areas designated as having an acute housing shortage. It anticipates that the average annual charge will be between EUR850 (USD1,167) and EUR1,650 per empty property. The levy is forecast to generate around EUR13m in additional revenue, which will flow to support local housing policy.

The Government insists that the tax is not aimed at boosting income. The aim of the fee is to encourage banks that hold empty flats and apartments in their property portfolios to make them available for rent.

The bill will begin its passage through parliament this summer, to ensure that the legislation enters into force in 2015.

TAGS: tax | banking | real-estate | legislation | tax rates | Spain

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