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Politik | 07.03.2019

Aus IZSpecial anlässlich der Immobilienmesse MIPIM/2019, S. 206

Von Robin Göckes

In diesem Artikel:
  • Organisationen:
    SPD, CDU/CSU
  • Personen:
    Olaf Scholz, Katarina Barley
  • Immobilienart:
    Wohnen, Gewerbe allgemein

Property tax reform

Source: pixabay.com, author: lapping
Will property tax be reimbursed by tenants in future?

Source: pixabay.com, author: lapping

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany has ruled that the German property tax must be revised. In this context, the 64,000-dollar question is whether landlords will have to bear the burden in future.

The clock is ticking for the German Minister for Finance, Olaf Scholz (a Social Democrat) - only nine months to go before his comprehensive property tax reform has to be done and dusted. Reform is indeed necessary since the old basis for calculating the levy was declared unconstitutional by the highest German court, which triggered a controversial debate mostly around the issue of whether the tax should include a value-linked component and what the impact of such a component would be.

In late 2018, Scholz spoke out in favour of a value-dependent model, but this ran into a strong headwind from numerous German states and the Christian Democrats, Scholz' political partners in the Government coalition. Stakeholders from the real estate industry also took a critical stance towards Scholz' ideas, expressing their preference for a value-independent option instead.

In early February 2019, Scholz eventually settled for a compromise with the Ministers of Finance of the German states. The key features of this compromise will be a starting point for revising the act. In future, the tax is intended to be calculated as a mix of floor space, location and actual net rent. There are many details that still need to be clarified, however, including the question of how individual factors should be weighted or the degree to which property tax on commercial real estate should be calculated differently from property tax on housing. Another more recent bone of contention has to be eliminated, too - the German Minister for Justice, Katarina Barley (a Social Democrat), has presented the idea that a provision under which property tax is reimbursed by tenants could be waived in order to relieve tenants of this particular tax burden.

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