With the summer sun at its hottest, The Portugal News recalled that more than three hundred years ago, King William III introduced a window tax across Great Britain where people were taxed according to the amount of daylight entering their homes. As a result, many windows were bricked up, and remain so to this day, as homeowners fought against what is thought to have inspired the term ‘Daylight Robbery’.
In the summer of 2016, the Portuguese government found a new, but arguably similar way of taxing houses, with the amount of exposure to the sun and views, being the cornerstone of a new council tax which it says is aimed at making the country more “socially just”.
According to Law Decree number 41 of 2016, a good view and a south-facing house could see homeowners face substantial increases in their council tax bills. Homes with decent views and which maximise solar exposure could be subject to an increase in council tax rates of up to 20 percent.
On the other hand, houses facing cemeteries, which are north-facing or on the bottom floors of an apartment block could see a drop in council tax of up to 10 percent.
Noise pollution will also play a role, but essentially the less light a house receives in the day, the less tax its occupants will have to pay.
State Secretary for Finance Rocha Andrade has said the revision is not to gain additional revenue, but rather to tax people according to the homes and luxuries they enjoy.
But the tax revision will not be
The new council tax will only be applied on new homes or when a property is re-evaluated, and this is already in force.