ATHENS – Owners of more than 1.3 million properties across Greece have asked for their power to be turned off so they won’t be hit with a bevy of related fees.
The startling numbers were revealed during a cross-check by the General Secretariat of Public Revenue and the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE) that found property owners wanted to avoid paying taxes connected to the use of electricity.
There were 7,385,000 users connected to the power grid and the survey found about 18 percent were property owners who had at least one building where they asked for the power to be cut.
By doing so they don’t have to pay local authority levies, can exempt the properties from the used property assets that tax authorities take into account when determining each taxpayer’s income status, and won’t be levied various charges tagged onto electricity bills, such as the fixed payment to the power company and the mandatory levy for the state broadcaster.
The biggest reason though has been to avoid the property levy tagged onto electricity bills beginning three years ago, which was supposed to be a one-year assessment but looks to be permanent.
That tax was imposed by then-finance minister Evangelos Venizelos when the PASOK Socialists were in power. He is now Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister serving in the coalition government led by Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras.