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Switzerland's Silvaplana Introduces Tax On Second Homes

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In a bid to reduce growing demand for second homes, owners of holiday homes in the Swiss town of Silvaplana, situated in the Upper Engadin, will soon be liable to pay a new tax if the property is not rented out.

From the beginning of next year, Silvaplana will become the first municipality in the Swiss canton of Graubünden to impose a so-called “cold bed” tax on owners of unoccupied second homes.

The local council recently approved the new provision contained in the building law, and local authority estimates show that the levy, for a second home (which is not sublet) with three and a half bedrooms will cost owners in the region of between CHF800 (USD744) and CHF1,200 (USD1,117) per year.

The latest measure forms part of a drive by both the government and the canton to promote main residences, to limit the number of second homes, and to increase the number of homes with full occupancy,

At the end of last year, the cantonal government gave 35 municipalities in tourist areas the task of enacting measures by the middle of 2013 that serve to limit the uncontrolled building of second homes with “cold beds”.