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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 24.01.2019, 02:43 urges Vejonis to lift property tax for residents, who only own one home

BC, Riga, 28.11.2017.Print version
The public initiatives platform has sent an open letter to President Raimonds Vejonis, urging him to lift property tax for residents who only have one home, the platform informed LETA.

The initiative on lifting property tax on residences that are the only home for their owners has been signed by more than 26,000 people. Previously Saeima turned the proposal down, and the letter is urging the president to tell Saeima review the initiative once again.


The author of the initiative, Liana Hirssone points out that she and 26,160 people who have signed her petition are urging Vejonis to support lifting property tax for residents who only have one home, similar to many other European Union countries where the only home is not taxed, for instance, Denmark, Belgium, Malta, Slovakia, Italy, Greece. Vejonis is being asked to use his right to initiate legislation, as provided in Article 47 of the Constitution, and ask Saeima to repeatedly vote on lifting property tax for residents who own one home, which is where they live.


The letter points out that paying property tax rates are excessively high, hence the signature drive was started on in 2016. The initiative is supported by the public, but not by politicians, which is why is now turning to Vejonis.


The initiative, then signed by 10,496 citizens of Latvia, was turned down by the Cabinet of Ministers this past April. The Finance Ministry said that the initiative was economically unjustified, and that the problem should rather be solved by revising properties' cadastral values.


As a result, the property tax system was left unchanged, and the only amendment by the government stipulates that property tax rates may not increase more than 10 percent annually. Because of this, and due to the Finance Ministry's plan to substantially increase property tax on buildings constructed after 2000, Rigans' property tax payments may increase by EUR 1,000 and more next year, states the letter.

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