Bergen politicians may usher in property tax

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A recent change in the composition of the Bergen city government may lead to an introduction of property tax in the west coast city. While the Conservative Party (Høyre) has fended off property tax assessment earlier, parties in opposition have urged its introduction and now may have a majority.

Newspaper Bergens Avisen has reported that Labour, the Liberals, the Greens, the Socialist Left (SV), the Center Party and the Reds have united on a demand that the city start charging property tax from next year. They view it as necessary for maintaining social services. Municipalities are allowed to impose property tax in Norway if they see fit.

The city’s conservative government coalition made up of the Conservatives, the Progress Party and the Christian Democrats refused to impose the tax, but the Christian Democrats recently withdrew from the city government in Bergen after conflicts over route plans for the city’s tram system known as Bybanen.

That means the Christian Democrats, who have supported property tax in their party platform, will be free to join the opposition on the issue, and can provide the majority votes needed to usher in the new tax. They worry that city debt levels have risen too high, and that property tax is needed to improve the city’s economy.

newsinenglish.no staff