Property tax: Interest group warns of massive tax increase

Do owners and tenants have to pay significantly higher taxes after the property tax reform? The owner association Haus & Grund expects up to 4794 percent more, the Ministry of Finance contradicts.

The owners' association Haus & Grund has triggered a new debate on land tax. In the course of the planned reform, the association warns against tax increases. "Tenants, those with private owners and people who live in their own homes, are massively disadvantaged by the proposals," said Kai Warnecke, President of Haus & Grund Germany. "This is a socio-political and legal aberration." The Ministry of Finance rejected the criticism.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) had submitted a draft for a reform of land tax. However, it is still unclear what impact the plans would have on property taxpayers. Based on the draft, Haus & Grund has now created case studies. First, the "Bild" newspaper had reported about it.

According to the association, in some cases a drastic increase in property tax can occur. This can be allocated to tenants through the additional costs - the SPD, the Greens and the Left want to change that. Wernecke said Scholz's proposal was far too complicated and unduly burdens taxpayers and tax authorities.

Finance Minister Scholz, on the other hand, had always appealed to the municipalities to reduce the rates of levy and thereby compensate for the additional revenues. "Our clear number is that the current revenue of the municipalities of 14.8 billion euros is maintained," said a spokeswoman for Scholz. However, she acknowledged that this was not in the hands of the federal government. "We can not force communities."

Verena Göppert, deputy managing director of the German Association of Cities, said: "The federal, state and local governments have a clear goal in common that the reform of property tax will be revenue-neutral."

Ministry of Finance: "This has nothing to do with serious calculations"

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance said: "These calculations come from lobbyists who - to deceive the public - consciously embezzled the everywhere expected and already announced by mayors everywhere lowering the rates - with reputable calculations has nothing to do - this is propaganda. "

Thus, for a detached house in Dresden South from the year of construction 1936 with 768 square meters of floor space instead of 31 euros in the future 1538 euro property tax due, reported the "Bild" newspaper, citing the calculation examples of house & land. That's an increase of 4794 percent. The example assumes that the lifting set would not be lowered.

However, the calculation of the property tax in East Germany is based on the value of the land in 1935 - which should now be much higher. In West Germany, the land values ​​of 1964 count. In addition, 758 square meters of floor space for a single-family home are well above the average of about 150 square meters.

Union and opposition criticize proposal

The Federal Constitutional Court had called for a revision of the property tax until the end of 2019 because of these completely outdated tax bases. The properties are now to be revalued on 1 January 2022, then every seven years. Above all, the value of the land and the average rent should play a role. For the first time, the newly calculated property tax will be due in 2025.

After the federal and state governments had announced an agreement on the land tax in March, the dispute has now started again. Bavaria has been particularly critical so far. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) had said to the plans: "This is a very disappointing proposal, it will not become law." It still lacks an opening clause that allows countries to make their own arrangements.

For example, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) does not want to agree without an opening clause; Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also shows sympathy for such a clause. In addition, it is pointed out in the Union that in other state governments the respective coalition partners FDP and Greens are likely to press for a rejection in the Bundesrat.

ref: spiegel