Property tax in Denmark second highest in EU

Top three EU countries outdistance rest of EU countries

Denmark makes it a habit to be at the top of many lists and now it can add to its laurels the distinction of being one of the EU countries with the highest property tax.

Politiken reports that Denmark is second only to the UK for highest real estate taxes. The news comes from a report on property valuations until 2011 compiled by the government’s expert committee headed by Peter Engberg Jensen, former Nykredit director.

The report further shows that the top three countries – UK, Denmark and France – outdistance the other European countries that have a more lenient taxation policy.

“[The top three countries] have a significantly higher level of property taxation as a share of GDP than the other European countries,” the report states.

From the period between 2000 and 2011, which includes the tax freeze period, property taxes in Denmark rose from 1.7 percent of GDP to 2.1 percent. By comparison, the UK’s rate is 3.4 percent and France’s is 1.9 percent; in fourth place comes Belgium with 1.3 percent.

The reason that tax could continue to rise even during a tax freeze is because only the property tax was locked, but the land tax is legally allowed to increase by up to seven percent per year, Politiken reports.

Tax minister Benny Engelbrecht introduced a bill on Tuesday to freeze the Tax Administration’s property valuations since 2011. The valuation and assessments methods have been criticized in the past; however, the new proposed bill is also drawing criticism.