Many of the second residents go to court. They think the way they are being taxed is unfair. They are represented by attorney Bart Englen of Antaxius and launched a class action lawsuit. in am working explain it.
Listen to the full interview with Bart Engelen here:
to explain: Three coastal municipalities do not charge an additional municipal tax. These are De Panne, Koksijde and Knokke-Heist. The second resident pays tax on his second residence in all municipalities. Other residents who go to court now believe that there is an inequality.
- Englen: “The tax on second residents is a kind of compensation because they cannot contribute through the additional municipal tax. But if the residents are not asked anything about intra-municipal costs, the situation is very disproportionate compared to the second residents. The tax is also increasing all the time. In Koksijde, for example, has already risen to 1,300 euros on an annual basis.
- The most obvious solution is to introduce municipal taxes, as other coastal municipalities do. There is also a legal criterion available: Municipalities that charge at least 5 percent as municipal tax surcharge receive some kind of allocation from the Flemish Municipal Fund. So it seems logical to me that at least the 5 percent should be attached to the additional municipal tax,” says Englen.
- “Because our law firm received a large order, we decided to start a class action. For each taxpayer, we have to file an objection and take legal action. But due to the fact that the argument is the same for every taxpayer, we are able to launch such a class action. In this way, it is also possible to some extent for second home owners to compete in terms of costs.”
- “In a country under the rule of law, one might expect one to act according to the higher courts. Municipalities are always wrong. It is not appropriate in a democratic constitutional country to continue to levy that tax in this way. Unfortunately, I fear that the battle will drag on for a long time and that more Actions will follow,” concludes Englen.
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