Portugal’s IMI council tax is set to triple in at least 20 towns and cities across the country on homes which are abandoned or empty.
Reports suggest that Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra and Porto are among the municipalities who are looking to push up rates by 300 percent, the maximum allowed by law.
Tax departments in these cities have already been notified, which will also see homeowners qualify for a reduction in council tax if they renovate their properties or decide to permanently let out vacant homes.
This is yet another change to council tax regulations, after Law Decree number 41 of 2016, published earlier this year, stipulates 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.
The State Secretary for Finance, Rocha Andrade, has repeatedly stated the revision is not to gain additional revenue, but rather to tax people according to the homes and luxuries they enjoy.