Just a quick update on Greece’s financial crisis as it is related to taxes this time. On Sunday the government of Greece approved a new property tax aimed at quickly raising 2 billion euros to help plug some serious budget holes. So the tax collectors got right to work on this, right? Nope. In fact, tax offices around the country were shut down today as workers protested pay cuts. However, even if tax collectors never go back to work, property owners should not expect any automatic tax relief because the new tax is to be collected through electricity bills.
It’s an open question whether or not the tax will actually be collected amid union protests and the country’s rampant tax evasion. The government needs to get over its credibility issues by cracking down on prominent individuals and businesses that believe they are above the law and immune to taxation. Lasting solutions for this country’s economic troubles probably involve reducing the public sector and moving towards privatization, whereas the new property tax appears to be just a band-aid. Worst of all, experts believe that the new property tax will only worsen the country’s recession.