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The Hague Lowers "User" Property Tax Rates In 2014

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

18 December 2013

The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) has revealed that the Dutch city of The Hague is the only large municipality in the Netherlands to lower the property tax (onroerende-zaakbelastingen – OZB) rate imposed on users of non-residential property, or business premises, in 2014.

As part of efforts to support and attract entrepreneurs, The Hague has lowered its rate for users of office space and shop buildings to the tune of around 30 percent next year. Consequently, the tariff will drop from 0.17290 currently to 0.11930 next year (-31 percent).

Citing figures from a recent "Forum study" into 2014 property tax rates in the 11 largest municipalities in the Netherlands, the confederation noted that The Hague is the exception to the rule in terms of its decision to lower user OZB rates. Indeed, the Dutch municipalities of Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Apeldoorn have all elected to increase their user OZB rates next year, above the so-called "macro-norm" central Government limit of 2.45 percent in 2014.

Rotterdam will increase its user OZB rate from 0.22670 in 2013 to 0.25290 in 2014, marking a rise of 11.6 percent, while Eindhoven will raise its user OZB tariff from 0.14028 in 2013 to 0.15200 in 2014 (up 8.4 percent), and Apeldoorn will increase its rate from 0.23010 in 2013 to 0.24610 in 2014, representing an on-year rise of 7 percent.

Concluding, VNO-NCW emphasized the correlation between high municipal debt levels and high OZB rates. Unsurprisingly, Rotterdam and Apeldoorn both have a high debt level per inhabitant, while The Hague is the only municipality with low municipal debt.

Municipal tax departments levy OZB property tax on all real estate (onroerende zaken), such as residential property and business premises. The tax departments base the tax assessment on the property value (WOZ-waarde) as at January 1 of each tax year. The owner or user then receives their tax assessment.

The tax departments differentiate between two types of property tax, namely residential property and non-residential property, for example, business premises, sheds, or garages. Only the owner of residential property is liable for the property tax. However, both users and owners have to pay the property tax for a non-residential property.

TAGS: tax | business | Netherlands | property tax | entrepreneurs | corporation tax | tax rates

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