In Gutersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, the lowest property tax levied in Germany, and in Witten, in the same land, property owners will have to shell out. Accordingly, there are also significant differences between the federal states.

  • MAY 17, 2021

Real estate tax is paid once a year by property owners. The money goes to cities and municipalities, so the tax, which has an annual income of more than 14 billion euros, is an important source of income for about 11,000 municipalities. The amount of property tax is also important for the tenant, as it can be transferred by the owner through operating costs.

The calculation is complicated, but one of the factors is the contribution rate, which is determined by the municipalities themselves. This rate can vary greatly depending on their financial needs. The study of the 100 largest cities in Germany is an intermediate result before the baseline changes. Following a court ruling in late 2019, the calculations had to be reconsidered because the values were outdated. After the transition period, the new calculation methods should be finally applied from January 2025. The tax rate is also determined by the municipalities.

Experts have studied which municipalities have recently "loosened the nuts" on property taxes to alleviate the burden of the crown crisis. About a hundred districts remained unchanged compared to the previous 2018 survey. In Gutersloh, a standard single-family home costs 323 euros a year in real estate tax, and in Witten, 771 euros. According to researchers, the average in the country is currently 478 euros, which is "slightly more" than in 2018.

The fee is also relatively cheap in Regensburg (€ 335) and Reutlingen (€ 339), while Offenbach am Main (€ 758) and Mülheim an der Ruhr (€ 754) are lower, ahead of Witten. In the ranking of federal states, the annual real estate tax in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is the cheapest - an average of 385 euros, the last place is occupied by Berlin with 686 euros.

Compared to the 2018 survey, twelve cities have recently raised property taxes. In some cities, the tax burden has "almost exploded," complained Kai Warneke, head of the property owners' association. "We urgently need to counter this so that housing remains accessible to tenants and landlords and becomes available again in all cities," he demanded. The association recommended that municipalities develop strategies to reduce real estate taxes and explain them to citizens.

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