July 30, 2019 / 4:55 PM / a month ago

Greece approves cut on property tax, eases arrears repayment

ATHENS (Reuters) - The Greek parliament approved an across-the-board reduction of a deeply unpopular property tax on Tuesday, fulfilling an election pledge of new prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The bill, which was submitted to parliament as a priority by the newly-elected conservative government, cuts the property tax by up to 30 percent, depending on the total estimated value of a taxpayer’s assets.

“No one will be exempted from this generous relief,” Mitsotakis said before the vote, adding that four million Greeks would soon benefit from the new measure.

The annual budget cost of the cut is estimated at 205 million euros. ($228.55 million)

The draft law also eases the repayment of tax and social security contribution arrears to the state. It stretches out payment plans by up to 120 monthly installments to more debtors, offers discounts and cuts the minimum monthly repayment to 20 euros.

Mitsotakis, who came to power on July 7 unseating leftist leader Alexis Tsipras, called on debtors to “take advantage of a very generous repayment scheme” adding that it was a last chance for such flexibility and that future schemes would have stricter terms.

Greece emerged from its third international bailout in August last year and has been outperforming fiscal targets agreed with its international lenders.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Peter Graff

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