Bratislavans to join other municipalities in paying higher property tax

The city and its 17 boroughs will divide the revenues 50:50.

BratislavaBratislava (Source: TASR/Jaroslav Novák)

Bratislava has joined other cities and municipalities across Slovakia by increasing property tax to patch up holes in its budget made by the government and the slowing down of the economy. The increased taxes will bring in €24-26 million for Bratislava. The city and its 17 boroughs will divide the revenues 50:50.

“The increased revenues will go towards projects from which all will benefit,” wrote Bratislava city council in its press release, adding that one half of the three-year revenues, €18 million, will be used to repair pavements and roads.

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Bratislava points to governmental measures and changes in legislation as the reasons for the increase in property tax as a way to obtain money for new and extended obligations. Municipalities now have to take care of snow on all pavements and pay surcharges for night, holiday and weekend work. Also, the reduction of income tax for private individuals and small companies to 15 percent will reduce the revenues of the municipalities. The economic slowdown means another reduction in the city’s coffers.

“If the government had not adopted the social packages reducing Bratislava’s budget by €8 million, we would probably not have to raise taxes,” said Vallo in an interview with the Sme daily.

The OECD has been critical of Slovakia for its low property taxes.

While originally the city and its municipalities proposed a hike of between 45-100 percent, the final increase for apartments and family houses was lower while the rates for some commercial real estate was raised in order that the final increase in revenue would not change.

As part of the overhaul of the tax rates, the city has changed the division of individual boroughs into tax bands by increasing them from three to four. It has also made changes to the categories of real estate, making it quite difficult to compare current and new tax rates.

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