Local governments should try to collect more in real estate tax revenue - Vilks

Real estate tax revenue currently constitutes 14.2 percent in local government tax revenue and local governments should try to increase this share, Finance Minister Andris Vilks (Unity) said during today's conference on the development of the Latvian real estate market.

At the moment, local government tax revenue constitutes 57 percent of total revenue, real estate tax revenue amounts to 8 percent. Personal income tax revenue makes up 85 percent of local government tax revenue, real estate tax revenue - 14.2 percent, informed Vilks.

Local government reluctantly collect real estate tax revenue and would rather receive 100 percent of personal income tax revenue, added the minister.

There have been plenty of heated discussions on the matter over the past five years. However, it is possible that local governments should collect more in real estate tax revenue and personal income tax revenue should be balanced between the state and local governments, explained Vilks.

Local governments have always predicted smaller real estate tax revenue than their actual amounts. Real estate tax revenue reached LVL 73 million in 2009, LVL 90 million in 2010, LVL 110 million in 2011 and LVL 117 million in 2012, said the minister. This year, real estate tax revenue is projected at LVL 119 million.