CAIRO: A poll conducted by the Public Opinion Poll Center on the new property tax, revealed that the majority of Egyptians have heard of the new tax, but that almost half of them are against implementing it.
The sample included 1,227 families, 81 percent of which had heard of the property tax. However, 49 percent of them disapproved of it, compared to 22 percent who agreed on imposing.
The law, passed in the People’s Assembly in July 2008, but not yet implemented, will be introduced gradually.
According to the law, properties valued at less than LE 500,000 or whose rental value is less than LE 6,000 are not subject to this tax; in addition to other estates that were built before 1977.
The poll also revealed that 57 percent of the respondents said that they do not know whether their properties are subject to the tax.
Respondents who agreed to that property tax believed that the revenues will be invested for the benefit of the whole country. Twenty-nine percent said that it contributed to the proper distribution of income.
On the other hand, 52 percent of respondents who rejected the tax believed that since they do not receive any revenue from their properties, they should not be taxed, with 36 percent saying that the tax exacerbates their already rising cost of living.
"It is not the right of the state to punish the financially able people who worked very hard to by their property with no help from the government," explained a 44-year-old respondent from Sharqia governorate.
The poll showed that 58 percent of those aware of the new law have already submitted their real estate tax forms, but that 21 percent of them complained of over-crowdedness in the tax offices.
The Public Opinion Poll Center (POPC) was established in 2003 as the first center specialized in examining trends of Egyptian public opinion. The center is affiliated to the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC).
This poll is designed on a single layered strata sample for adults (18+) in Egyptian households that have telephone lines in different Egyptian governorates .Egypt Telecom provides a database of all publicly listed telephone numbers inside the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Factor analysis is used to calculate the economic class of interviewed households and give each household a comparative rate that identifies its economic class relative to other households in the same sample, given its possession of assets like mobile phones, cable TV, cars, air conditioners, and computers.