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HomeDeutschlandA lawsuit in Rhineland-Palatinate: Court rules against Scholz' property tax - "Resounding...

A lawsuit in Rhineland-Palatinate: Court rules against Scholz’ property tax – “Resounding slap in the face for the government”

The Finance Court of Rhineland-Palatinate has fundamental doubts about the constitutionality of the statutory valuation rules for the new property tax. It expressed serious concerns that “the provisions of the valuation law are even capable of achieving a realistic and relationship-based property valuation,” the judicial authority in Neustadt/Weinstraße announced.

Court questions the constitutionality of the new property tax rules

The highest finance court in the federal state thereby ruled in favor of two applicants in urgent proceedings. It suspended the execution of their property tax value notices and allowed an appeal to the Federal Finance Court “due to the fundamental significance of the legal matter and to ensure uniform jurisprudence” – due to the deviation from a ruling of the Saxon Finance Court. The Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Finance will review the decision.

In one case, it concerned an unrenovated single-family house built in 1880 with a living space of 72 square meters. Here, the tax office had determined the property tax value to be 91,600 euros. The second case involved a single-family house with a living space of 178 square meters, built and ready for occupancy in 1977. Despite being situated on a slope and only accessible via a private road, the tax office determined the property tax value to be 318,800 euros. However, the Finance Court in Neustadt expressed “serious doubts both about the legality of the individual notices and about the constitutionality of the underlying valuation rules.”

Taxpayers lack the opportunity for a second opinion

The court has particularly doubts about whether the crucially involved land values have been lawfully determined, including the statutorily required independence of the appraisal committees – here, “possibilities of influence cannot be excluded.”

Furthermore, the Finance Court criticized that taxpayers do not have the opportunity to prove a value of their property that is below the standardized land value – for example, with a second opinion, which is not provided for.

Final decision on constitutionality is pending

The presiding judge at the Finance Court, Barbara Weiß, told the German Press Agency that the decisions concern two individual cases – a final decision on the constitutionality of the valuation rules is still pending. The court expects a timely decision from the Federal Finance Court, which is certainly aware of the sensitivity of the matter, emphasized the court’s spokesperson.

The Ministry of Finance in Mainz stated that it is convinced of the constitutionality of the federal model. The decision of the Finance Court of Rhineland-Palatinate will now be reviewed, and then a decision will be made on the lodging of legal remedies.

“Resounding slap in the face” for the state government

However, the property owners’ association, Haus & Grund, described the decision as a “resounding slap in the face” for the state government. “The state government would do well not to simply sit out the matter with an appeal to the Federal Finance Court.” Rather, measures should be taken to enact a constitutionally compliant state property tax law.

The tax policy spokesperson of the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament, Karina Wächter, stated that the decision vindicates the critics of the property tax reform “in every respect.” “For over two years, we have been warning about the legal uncertainty and the bureaucratic monster with high costs posed by the new federal regulations,” she said.

sie. Es bedarf nun dringend Klarheit – für die Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner, jedoch auch für die Gemeinden, bei denen die Grundsteuer eine bedeutende Einnahmequelle darstellt.

Modell des Bundes “so bürokratisch”, dass kein Steuererklärungsfrist pünktlich abgegeben wird

“Das neue Grundsteuermodell des Bundes wurde von der Politik als mühelos, gerecht und verfassungsfest angepriesen. Doch dieses Märchen bröckelt nach und nach”, berichtete der Bund der Steuerzahler.

Das neue Model der Grundsteuer sei “so bürokratisch”, dass weder das Land Rheinland-Pfalz noch viele Gemeinden und Bürger es geschafft hätten, ihre Grundsteuererklärungen fristgerecht einzureichen. “Allein in Rheinland-Pfalz gab es ungefähr 280.000 Einsprüche gegen die Bescheide zur Berechnung der Grundsteuer – das sagt eine Menge aus”, teilte René Quante mit, Geschäftsführer des Bundes der Steuerzahler in Mainz.

Kritik wurde auch von den Freien Wählern im Landtag geäußert. Mit dem Urteil des Finanzgerichts müsse sich die Landesregierung die Frage stellen, ob sie die Verfassungsmäßigkeit der Grundsteuerreform ausreichend geprüft habe, meinte Fraktionschef Joachim Streit. “Das wäre dringend notwendig gewesen. Denn angesichts der Ereignisse rund um den Bundeshaushalt steht jetzt der Verdacht im Raum, dass es sich bei der Grundsteuerreform erneut um ein handwerklich schlecht gemachtes Gesetz handelt.”

Neue Grundsteuer soll ab 2025 in Kraft treten

Das Finanzamt stellt anhand der Erklärungen der Eigentümer zwei Bescheide aus: einen Grundsteuerwertbescheid und einen Grundsteuermessbescheid. Diese bilden die Grundlage für die Festsetzung der Grundsteuer durch die Gemeinden. Die neue Grundsteuer soll ab Anfang 2025 in Kraft treten.

In Rheinland-Pfalz müssen insgesamt ungefähr 2,5 Millionen Immobilien neu bewertet werden. Im November hatte das Finanzministerium in Mainz bekannt gegeben, dass im Bundesland fast 279.000 Einsprüche gegen die Bescheide zur Berechnung der Grundsteuer eingegangen seien.

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