- The solidarity levy was introduced in 2011 as an extraordinary measure for incomes over 12,000 euros and was supposed to have been abolished by the end of 2014. Eight years on taxpayers pay a total of 1.2 billion euros per annum, down from 1.5 billion euros collected in 2014 when declared incomes were higher.
It is a particularly iniquitous tax as it is levied on total gross income which has already been taxed through income tax, tax on interest, tax on dividends etc. In other words you pay this tax on the money that the government has already taken off you in tax. Even if the government does start reducing it, as suggested in the article, I can't see it disappearing altogether in the next decade.
Property tax on expensive properties has existed for a long time in Greece but was extended to all properties about the same time the Solidarity Tax was introduced, initially through the electricity bill and then as ENFIA. This was also supposed to be a temporary measure but I can't see that going away soon either.
As an example of just how sticky taxes can be, in the UK Income Tax was introduced in 1799 as a temporary measure to provide funds to fight the Napoleonic wars. It's still going strong, although legally it is still a temporary tax that expires on 5 April each year and has to be renewed through a Finance Bill. There was a period of 26 years when it was repealed at the end of the Napoleonic wars but it was then reintroduced and has existed ever since.