Home owners hit as local property taxes rise above government limit

The Netherlands’ 400 plus local authorities have put up local property taxes by an average of almost 4% this year, well above the agreed limit, according to Groningen University research for the home affairs ministry.

Ministers and the local council association VNG had imposed a ceiling of 2.8%, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday.

In total, councils are raising €3.6bn through the property tax, which is only paid by home owners. The bulk of their total budget of €52bn comes from national government.

The home affairs ministry can decide to cut government contributions to ‘punish’ councils which have increased their property taxes (ozb) by too much, the Financieele Dagblad states.

However, this did not happen when property taxes rose above agreed limits in 2008 and 2013, the paper points out.

In addition to property taxes, local councils also charge residents a levy for waste water disposal and rubbish collection. In particular, rubbish collection fees have gone down.

In total, households will pay an average 1.9% more in local taxes this year. The most expensive local authority is Wassenaar near The Hague, where the average household local tax bill is €1,149. Bunschoten, north of Amersfoort, is the cheapest, at €508.

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