ATHENS – As Greek finance officials scramble to revise a new unified ENFIA property tax bill that resulted in many owners getting bills 10 times higher than last year, those with empty homes or not connected to the electricity grid will be getting a 20 percent discount.
This was the latest adjustment to the ENFIA tax which was based on flawed and outdated data. There were reportedly long deliberations over how big the discount for properties not in use should be, with the Finance Ministry wanting it to be under 20 percent but Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, eager to appease over-taxed voters, overruled the officials. .
The new tax has so ired people that even 21 lawmakers from Samaras’ ruling New Democracy Conservatives pressed new Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis about the role that economics professor Nikos Karavitis had in designing ENFIA. Karavitis was an unpaid adviser at the Finance Ministry but left the position in June.
Nikos Androulakis, the Secretary for the PASOK Socialists who are partners in the coalition government, blamed ex-Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, now Bank of Greece Governor, for the ENFIA foul-up. “He was the minister for most of the time we were discussing how the tax could be shared out fairly,” said Androulakis.