By Euro Weekly News Media • 16 February 2011 • 14:32
THE controversial IBI tax that has created serious financial problems for thousands of property owners and proven to be inconsistent in its valuations, is about to be challenged – not by town halls or high costing legal eagles – but by the power of the people.
A small publication dedicated to the community of Javea, The Grapevine, has launched a petition on behalf of its readers, asking property owners who consider they are being taxed unfairly to demand a full town hall enquiry into the system, with an interim freeze on current charges.
This Churchillian type decision was inspired by a recent court case in which a local man obtained a ruling from the Valencia Superior court, nullifying his rates payment by taking advantage of a 2009 court ruling which confirmed annulment of the 2005 increase in Jávea’s assessed land values and rates.
Grapevine owners, Derek and Sue Le Breton said the article that appeared in the Spanish press, quoted that the ‘Catastrazo’ had been so full of mistakes and inconsistencies that it had generated the largest public protests ever seen in Javea at the time.
“Unfair and unjust yes,” continued Derek. “But, according to our legal advisor, to challenge the system, each case would have to be studied on its own merit, automatically involving high legal costs, mountains of paperwork and probably years of court action for property owners already suffering from stress and financial problems.”
Faced with this apparent no win situation for their readers, Derek and Sue decided to turn the problem on its head by asking the international local community if they were willing to support a petition demanding the town hall urgently review the situation and if necessary, continue the fight to the heart of central government under the banner of, “IBI justice for all.”
The petition was launched last Friday February 11 and first signs are that it has been seized as a potential lifeline by members of the community. No comment has been received from the town hall.
As we have seen in recent events, providing the cause is justified, people power, backed by the media and is probably the only means left to the ordinary man and woman in the street to draw attention to injustice.
Derek and Sue Le Breton said they would be very happy to pass their working file and details etc to any other interested groups around the Costa’s.
For firther information visit. www.grapevinespain.com
IBI or “Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles” is the payment property owners make each year to their local councils and is the equivalent of the UK’s rates, or council tax. The calculation is a percentage (set by each Ayuntamiento, or town hall every year) of the Valor catastral (value) of the property as registered at the land registry. This value is usually lower than the actual value of the property. The percentage charged varies according to the level of service provided by the respective town hall. So in a rural area with few services, an owner could pay less than €100 per year and in urban areas much more.
By Benny Davis
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