Big brother is coming

SATELLITE IMAGES: Will be compared with property registers to determine extensions or additions to properties.

MOJACAR is one of 12 places in Almeria where property owners who built sneaky pools or extensions could face hefty bills and fines this year.

The Ministry of the Treasury, aka the taxman, and the property registry have announced that the town, along with Albanchez, Enix, Feliz, Gador, Huercal de Almeria, Lucainena de las Torres, Lucar, Pulpi, Somontin, Vicar and Zurgena, will be examined this year.

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Images taken from satellites, helicopters and even drones are compared with property registers to see whether owners have failed to declare any swimming pools, garages, extensions or other additions to avoid paying higher taxes.

If this is found to be the case, the local town hall is informed and will notify property owners. A one-off fee of €60 per property is charged to update the register and owners are required to pay the difference in property taxes for up to four years, plus interest.

The inspection scheme has been running since 2013 and will this year examine 1,272 municipalities across Spain. Many have criticised the scheme, including socialist party PSOE’s Economy spokesman Pedro Saura, who complained that the €60 fee to regularise extensions is the same for a Marbella mansion as for a tiny farm in the sticks.



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