Court's objective values demand
by Prokopis Hatzinikolaou & Nikos Roussanoglou, ekathimerini.com,
17 November 2014
The adjustment of Greece's so-called objective property values (used for tax purposes) within the next six months
is impossible, according to Finance Ministry officials who stressed that the amount of data involved in changing
the values to represent the going market rate is simply too much for the ministry’s responsible committee to deal
The Council of State's verdict last week provided the government with a six-month period to bring the objective
values down to market rates as it has not done so for nearly a decade, but the same ministry officials argued that
it was not enough time for the implementation of the demand by the country’s highest administrative court. They
added that the ministry would need to draw data from the whole of the country in order to adjust the 10,000 zone
Another reason why the government has not changed the objective values in recent years is that they would have
had to go up in a number of parts of the country, especially where values range between 500 and 800 euros per square
meter. Furthermore, most property taxes are based on the current objective values, so if the government reduced
them, budget revenues would be considerably lower compared to what has been agreed with the country's creditors.
For instance, a 30 percent average drop in objective values would lead to a 900-million-euro revenue reduction
from the single property tax (ENFIA).
The agreement between the government and its creditors provides for an adjustment to objective values in 2017.
According to the timetable, the new automatic system for the adjustment of values will have to be ready by end-January
However the CoS decision could bring the property market to a standstill, again. While market professionals consider
the verdict a boost for the sector, they stress that any delay in its implementation could send the market into
a new cloud of uncertainty. "Buyers will understandably postpone their transactions until the application of the
verdict," predicted Lefteris Potamianos, general secretary at the estate agents federation.