View of central Brno houses captured from the walls of Špilberk Castle

Mayors of Prague, Brno, and Ostrava push for lower housing taxes

It would be good if the state lowered taxes related to housing, the mayors of the three biggest Czech cities told Czech Television

Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) – It would be good if the state lowered the taxes related to housing, the mayors of the three biggest Czech cities, Zdenek Hrib (Pirates) from Prague, Marketa Vankova (Civic Democrats, ODS) from Brno and Tomas Macura (ANO) from Ostrava, told the public Czech Television (CT) today.

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They agreed in a CT discussion programme that the value-added tax on the acquisition of a new flat should be cut from the current 15 percent to 10 percent and that the tax on the acquisition of property should be cancelled.

They would also appreciate if the state gave subsidies for the reconstruction of empty flats to the municipal authorities.

The Prague management is preparing a proposal for tax changes and would like to submit them to the Chamber of Deputies by the end of the year, Hrib said.

But Hrib is sceptical about the passage of the tax amendments. “Unless the attitude changes at the government level, it is very hard to step in the tax system,” he said.

The Senate proposed to cancel the tax on the acquisition of property some time ago, but the Chamber rejected it. This tax is set at 4 percent at present.

Hrib, Vankova and Macura agreed that the state should support not only the building of new housing but also the reconstruction of empty flats. Hrib said there were about 2,000 such flats in Prague. Macura said Ostrava has about 850 empty flats and half of them need to be reconstructed.

When the empty flats are reconstructed, they may be used as housing for people in need or for professions that are needed in the area, such as teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses, the mayors said.

The rents and prices of new flats have been steeply rising in Brno and especially Prague in the recent years. According to Deloitte company’s data, the average price of flats per square metre was 82,400 crowns in Prague, 60,500 crowns in Brno and 24,300 crowns in Ostrava in the second quarter of the year.

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