Dutch property tax up by more than 5 percent

Dutch property tax up by more than 5 percent

Property tax (OZB) was raised by more than 5 percent in 227 Dutch municipalities in 2012 relative to 2011, while only 3 municipalities lowered them. There are enormous regional differences in property tax rates according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.

The major cities saw a relatively modest rise in property tax rates. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam they rose by about 2.5 percent and in Utrecht by 1.6 percent. The Hague is the exception, as it lowered its rate by 4.3 percent. Anna Paulowna and Lopik are the two other municipalities that lowered their rates. The highest rate increase was in Lingewaard, where the property tax rate rose by more than 60 percent.

Drop in house prices strengthens higher rates

The rates are considerably higher in Limburg and Groningen than in Utrecht or North-Brabant. This has to do with house prices. A municipality with many expensive homes can charge a low rate and still get a decent return. But as house prices tumble, municipalities have to raise their rates to maintain their income from property tax. Appingedam has the highest rate. Home owners pay about five times as much as someone who lives on Texel for a home with the same value (WOZ).

Macro norm allows for an extra 90 million euro in property tax in 2013

Central government imposes a macro norm on local governments. All municipalities together were allowed to raise their income from property tax by 3.75 percent in 2012 to a maximum of 3178 million euro. Total revenues budgeted in 2012 amounted to 3237 million euro, 59 million euro more than agreed. Because the macro norm was exceeded, central government lowered it from 3 to 2.76 percent for 2013. This means municipalities can collect nearly 90 million euro more in property tax in 2013 than in 2012.

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