Over recent weeks, a former Italian prime minister has vowed to repeal recent taxes on Italian property as part of his campaign for re-election. Now, Silvio Berlusconi has gone one step further and is pledging to refund last yearÃ¢â¬â¢s property tax payments in cash if his party wins the election on 24/25 February 2013.
We look at how this may affect Italian property owners next.
Berlusconi pledges to refund Italian property tax payments
BerlusconiÃ¢â¬â¢s centre-right electoral coalition has been gradually narrowing the gap in the opinion polls but is still trailing Pierluigi BersaniÃ¢â¬â¢s left wing Democrats. The former prime minister has said he will serve as economy minister if his party wins.
At a recent rally in Milan, Mr Berlusconi promised to abolish the local property tax introduced by the incumbent government to tackle the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s economic problems. "This tax caused Italian families worry, anxiety, fear of the future," he told supporters of his People of Freedom party.
The BBC reports that Ã¢â¬ËMr Berlusconi is using his considerable political skills to appeal to an electorate which has seen a draconian increase in taxes by the technocrat administration led by Mario Monti during 2012Ã¢â¬â¢.
The tax on Ã¢â¬Ëfirst residencesÃ¢â¬â¢ was originally abolished by Silvio BerlusconiÃ¢â¬â¢s government in 2008. However, it was reintroduced in 2012 by current Prime Minister Mario Monti.
The tax is currently applied (with local variations and an allowance for family dependents) at a standard rate of 0.40 per cent to first residences. Other residences are subject to a tax rate of 0.76 per cent.
While Berlusconi has long pledged to abolish the tax on Ã¢â¬Ëfirst residencesÃ¢â¬â¢, he is now also promising to refund last yearÃ¢â¬â¢s tax payments in cash. This will clearly benefit anyone who owns a property in Italy and lives in it as their main home.
Author : Nick Marr