Those who own apartments and leave them empty without renting them out will soon be asked to pay. A law will be passed in the state parliament on Wednesday. But that offers many ways out.
For example, if you own a 100 square meter apartment in the city of Salzburg that is at least six years old and leave it vacant or plan to leave it vacant in the near future, the new Vacancy Tax Act will just a tired smile: A house like this in the provincial capital should have experienced an increase in value of at least 20 to 30 percent in the past five years alone, become 100,000 euros or more. The annual fee due soon will still be only 1000 euros – maximum! Because the lists in the bill are maximum amounts.
There are no costs for pension apartments
In addition, the country does not specify a minimum amount. The municipalities are authorized to levy vacancy, but are not obliged to do so. Each municipality must therefore adopt the law separately. There is no mandatory state tax.
Especially since various loopholes for the wealthy make the effort seem toothless. For example, homes that serve as rest homes for the children of the owners are exempt from the vacancy tax. This applies to one apartment per child up to 40 years of age. A family with four children can leave four properties empty as before with no financial consequences. And that for decades!
“Too little pressure on owners”
Experts have calculated for the “Krone” that the planned level of charges is too low, even for new buildings, and hardly encourages owners to reconsider. For an apartment of 100 square meters, € 2,000 per year may be owed up to and including the fifth year after notification of completion. “This puts far too little pressure on owners who leave their apartment empty,” analyzes Chamber President Peter Eder.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.