Councillors in Enschede have called a halt on a city experiment to value properties according to photos taken of their interiors.
The local council tax department had been asking local home owners to send in photos of the inside of their homes so that property values (WOZ) can be calculated more accurately.
The official value of a property is used to determine local taxes. ‘I was shocked when I got the request,’ Gemma van de Berg told broadcaster NOS. ‘Letting someone have a look to see if they could get more out of it? It did not feel right,’ she said.
According to the Telegraaf, people were asked to upload photos of their kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.
Home owners association Vereniging Eigen Huis said the request was a first. ‘A valuation based on the exterior is normal,’ spokesman Hans Andre de la Porte said. ‘This, together with information kept by the land registry provides plenty of good, objective information.’
Privacy is also an issue, he said. ‘What with the tax offices do with the photos? Will they be stored or destroyed? There is a total lack of clarity.’
Enschede’s finance chief Marc Teutelink said he understood peoples’ concerns but said that experiment is part of a national project.
Interior photos should be seen in the context of appeals against too high valuations, and the development of an appeals industry, he told RTV Oost.
The city is responsible for legal costs if properties are found in court to be over-valued and this would not be the case if the value had been properly established in the first place, he said.
The Telegraaf said the experiment is being carried out in nine local authority areas in Oost Brabant and Twente.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation