FIG Peer Review Journal


Going West or Going East - Fundamental Changes in the German Property Tax System (5026)

Rene Gudat (Germany)
Dipl.-Ing. Rene Gudat
Leibniz University of Hanver
Geodetic Institute
Land and Real Estate Management
Nienburger Straße 1
Corresponding author Dipl.-Ing. Rene Gudat (email: gudat[at], tel.: + 49 5117623389)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2011-02-10
Received 2010-11-22 / Accepted 2011-02-10
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2011 in Marrakech, Morocco and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2011
ISBN 978-87-90907-92-1 ISSN 2307-4086


The property tax generates important revenue for local and federal authorities in every coun-try. In some countries the revenue is connected to a special intention, in others it offers finan-cial recourses for the public administration. One main aspect in levying property taxes is the basis of assessment. The main approaches to estimate the bases of assessment are either value-based or area-based. This paper describes the spread of different approaches for estimation of assessment values in Europe. At the moment, Germany is the edge of the value-based approaches in West Europe and the area-based approaches in the East, but fundamental changes coming up. Currently, the Germany approach is a value-based approach based on historic values. But the German Federal Fiscal Court and the Federal Constitutional Court criticized tax assessment based on historic values. The basis of assessment is ought to be changed in the next few years. Now, the question in Germany is which basis of assessment should be used: either an area-based or a value-based approach or a combination. Beside the European Context, the paper will present the actual situation in Germany and the approaches previously discussed.
Keywords: Valuation; Property taxes; Legislation; property tax; value-based and area-based approaches; bases of assessment; German and European context