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  #41  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:06
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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long rant

Totally missed the point, well done
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  #42  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:06
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

So the posters of forests of appartments crowding the lower slopes of the Matterhorn don't really tie in with the arguments set out here. Fearmongering anyone?



(Now, where have I heard that in relation to election posters before?....)
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  #43  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:12
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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Genuine question: Who is going to move permanently to Oberengadin to revitalise communities there once (if) the referendum passes?
I think those communities are quite happy if they can limit the number of families moving out. Significant numbers moving in is a bit utopic and won't happen any time soon. A poorly paid job there may be preferable to a better paid one in a city if the costs of living there are also lower. So yes, reducing the pressure on the property market can slow down the rate at which people are leaving.
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  #44  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:16
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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+1.
Too many empty houses around here, the owners of which pay NO local taxes!
Tom
I never thought the day would come when I would look to my home country for sensible fiscal solutions but here is one where pehaps it might be worthwhile. A simple solution would be a property tax. No, not Eigenmietwert, as that is just an add-on to income, paid to the Steuerwohnsitz. A real property tax, not the inadequate Kurtax, at an amount that would fund the community.

I am currently house-hunting back home in an area that is largely a holiday destination. Gorgeous area, but very little employment opportunities outside tourism. Many of the towns I am looking in are heavily populated by second homes. Like most places in the US - work-a-day towns and vacation areas alike - local schools and services are largely funded via property taxes. The houses I'm looking at, very modest homes (and prices ) by Swiss standards, carry property taxes of 10-30,000 per year.

So, one pays one's income tax (federal, state, sometimes local) plus homeowners pay their property taxes. This gives the homeowner a stake in the community, regardless of whether he is a full time resident or a vacationer. Full time residents and owners of holiday homes alike pay the same property taxes on similarly valued properties.

(As you might guess in a country with a tax code that runs to many thousands of pages, there are exceptions, deductions, loopholes - but that's the gist of it.)

Holiday homes are actually a good thing for the community as they bring in revenue while using very few services - lowering what the year-round residents need to pay.

Or if that would be too much for the Swiss to stomach, perhaps increasing the Kurtax to something significant might accomplish the same thing.

I generally am a huge fan of Switzerland's tax system, as it keeps the bulk of the tax revenue in the community, under community control. However, if second homes really are a problem (and I'm not convinced they are) the taxation of property perhaps needs tweaking.

But it would seem to me that forbidding holiday homes is not addressing the real problem.

Last edited by meloncollie; 14.02.2012 at 17:26.
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  #45  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:21
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

The Swiss system was always designed to penalise second homes - always being taxed on the eigenmietewert being the key. Although deductions make that less of an issue.

The referendum as it stands will fail.

A question though:
- if you rent in your registered (tax) community - why is your weekend home not considered a second home?
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  #46  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:29
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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If you're a farmer and your land gets re-zoned as building land you effectively have no alternative but to sell it because unless you're an exceptionally rich and idealistic farmer, the property taxes will kill you..
Unless you can point us to the news articles that speak to the land being forceably rezoned against the farmers wishes, and the farmers losing the court battles to stop it, they were complicit to the rezoning process..they are not victims

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what exactly are you getting at?.
That it's hyocritical to complain about the results of an activity they actively encouraged as the reason to now stop it.

If it's only the people on this forum who are saying that these towns are suffering because of the holiday home owners who are damaging their villages then that's a different story and I will recant what I've said.

However from what I've been able to read in news articles, while admitting my language skills are far from fluent, that is not the case. The referendums are being raised saying how the holiday home building is damaging the quality of life for them, which is blatently hipocritical after these same villages received the benefits from the very same developments.

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So does resistance to change for the sake of it.
I'm not promoting resisting the changes as it doesn't effect me in any way..What got me to post was the ongoing hand wringing over the so called damage done to these poor helpless villages, that's what I"m calling BS. It's a very typical story of "now that I'm here the rest of you dirty SOB's stay out" It's not unique to the Swiss, but it's laughable all the same.
If they didn't play the victim card but rather just "we've grown to level where we can no longer sustain more growth" and have real data available to support the position, I probably would think differently of these type of referendums.
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  #47  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:34
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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Totally missed the point, well done
13 lines = too long to read ... OK, I'll type slower next time
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  #48  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:40
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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13 lines = too long to read ... OK, I'll type slower next time
missing the point <> too long to read

I read what you typed, sure some people make a lot of money out of this, and some towns make a lot, and for some places it all works out just dandy, but I don't think this is whats causing the issues. Its the hundreds of other smaller villages (like ours) that are dying because people have bought up the (very cheap) houses and don't live in them, don't use local services, don't pay local tax and bring nothing to the local area, that's the issue here

Is this vote the answer, probably not

Just to add, I'm not really sure why they need this vote anyway. When we bought our place the local gemeinde had it written into the contract that we had to live in the house within 6 months and it wasn't allowed to be a holiday home, so they already have the powers needed - the old owners where not happy bunnies when they saw the contract!!
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  #49  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:49
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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About "they can no longer afford to live in their hometown because of the high cost of housing"
Well if it is their home town they must already have a home so how does the high cost of housing impact them?
They have kids who don't want to live at home all their lives?
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  #50  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:52
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

Perhaps take a map and have a good long look about the difference in size, and land availability.

Makes sense
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  #51  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:23
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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Its the hundreds of other smaller villages (like ours) that are dying because people have bought up the (very cheap) houses and don't live in them, don't use local services, don't pay local tax and bring nothing to the local area, that's the issue here
So instead of adjusting how they tax a house, they instead want to limit the number of vacation houses ? Seems a strange approach

If they treated a vacation house from a land tax and valuation base the same as a 2nd house, wouldn't that be a better long term solution. If people have the money to afford a 2nd or 3rd house, they can afford to pay their fair share of property taxes. If they cán't then the house will become available for someone who wants a full time home.

In many states in the US, the tax base of a house is not dependant on the level of use. The fact that it's a 2nd home vs. primary comes into play for things like deduction of interest paid on the loan. My parents had that exact situation, they didn't get any break on property taxes just because it was a vacation house.
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  #52  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:37
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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+1.

Too many empty houses around here, the owners of which pay NO local taxes!

Tom
don't they have to pay tax on eigenmietwert?
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  #53  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:39
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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This is such a hypocritical, sour grapes bunch of BS.
  • These same villages didn't object to receiving the taxes paid when the houses were built and sold.
  • The local land owners didn't object to making their big profits selling off the farm land that was in the families for generations to the developers.
  • The villages didn't object to receiving the funds to extend the power, water, telephone and cable infrastructures for the new developments.
  • The developers didn't object to fleecing the people who could afford their big markups to buy the finished properties.
Maybe this make sense in some places, but in Romansh areas where the question is the survival of their language in the community, people DID and DO and WILL object... but they are rarely really asked.
On the top of that: when an area has a large German speaking minority, the chances of actually seeing objections followed by effects get smaller by each new home built.

You seem to believe that as long as you can pay people off, they should shut up. This in not what I read in the Romansh media. At all.
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  #54  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:44
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

Rich people's problems. I'm just happy to have one home to pay for. I can't even imagine having a second home, simply because I'm financially not capable of it, not that I wouldn't love a timeshare on a nice tropical beach somewhere.

But when I think about the demand for all of that "second home" housing construction, and the aerable land that was taken to build it, I find it disturbing. This is land that could be used for other things like... oh... I dunno... growing cheaper food?
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  #55  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:49
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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But when I think about the demand for all of that "second home" housing construction, and the aerable land that was taken to build it, I find it disturbing. This is land that could be used for other things like... oh... I dunno... growing cheaper food?
In an alpine valley. But of course. That's where all the cheap food comes from innit
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  #56  
Old 14.02.2012, 19:18
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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Maybe this make sense in some places, but in Romansh areas where the question is the survival of their language in the community, people DID and DO and WILL object... but they are rarely really asked.
On the top of that: when an area has a large German speaking minority, the chances of actually seeing objections followed by effects get smaller by each new home built.

You seem to believe that as long as you can pay people off, they should shut up. This in not what I read in the Romansh media. At all.
who cares about a niche language that a handful of people speak. i was already peeved when the UK spent millions to keep welsh alive instead of letting it die out naturally. i'll be glad when romansh dies out.
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  #57  
Old 14.02.2012, 19:25
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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They have kids who don't want to live at home all their lives?
Well if they are going to be choosy about it....
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  #58  
Old 14.02.2012, 19:31
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

Not sure I follow the logic really.

If people want a second home & cannot buy it then they will rent it? So banning the purchasing of second homes will not change the situation?

If people really want to buy a second home then I suppose they could start a GMBH & use that to buy the home?

Not sure how this scheme would apply to foreigners? How would they ever know a foreigner had a first home - or do they plan to ban all sales to foreigners?
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Old 14.02.2012, 19:44
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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Not sure how this scheme would apply to foreigners? How would they ever know a foreigner had a first home - or do they plan to ban all sales to foreigners?
What's the difficulty?

You live there permanently and file income tax etc there. Then its your first home.

If you don't live there permanently and file income tax elsewhere, then its not your first home.

I don't see where being foreign or not makes a difference.

You could I guess just file income tax there for one month after buying the property and then transfer your residence elsewhere.
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Old 14.02.2012, 19:46
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Re: referendum on limiting second homes

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who cares about a niche language that a handful of people speak. i was already peeved when the UK spent millions to keep welsh alive instead of letting it die out naturally. i'll be glad when romansh dies out.
Maybe then it's the attitudes of people like you who are making the minorities so defensive in the first place?
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