Thursday, 1 March 2018

CDA Amsterdam - Leasehold for owner-occupiers

What does Honest Leasehold mean for you?
In June 2017, the ruling coalition in Amsterdam of VVD, D66 and SP agreed on a new leasehold arrangement.
The way in which the dues for your leasehold are now calculated is unjust: Amsterdam is claiming part of your home. That has to stop. And it also provides an online calculator to see what the alternative would mean for you. This text provides further information about leasehold in Amsterdam and our alternative. More and more people are realising that the present arrangement is unreasonable and unjust. After the elections, leasehold is sure to be back on the agenda. Our aim is, once and for all, to create a fair system in Amsterdam.

What is wrong with the present leasehold arrangement?
The present arrangement made by the local coalition of D66/VVD/SP comes down to the municipality taking ownership of part of your residence. At its core is the 'Buurtstraatquote' (BSQ), a percentage of the value of your house of which the municipality says: that is basically the value of the land and  belongs to us. This can amount to as much as 49 percent of the WOZ value. However, this method is completely unjust. It ignores the reality of owning a house: you can’t pick up your house and put it down somewhere else; your house and the land it occupies are inseparable. So you have to bear in mind that the ground is already in use and someone already has an existing contract for it. In addition, the municipality has already been paid in full for the value of the land. That is why the CDA wants to base the calculation on the existing contracts.
The present arrangement is unfair and leads to unreasonably high costs for homeowners. In addition, the present arrangement is completely untenable. After 2019, the costs throughout the city will explode even more dramatically.

What does the CDA want and why is that so reasonable?
The CDA wants an honest leasehold based on existing contracts. By far the most leasehold contracts have already been reviewed. So the value of the ground has been determined. Why should the value of the land be recalculated using expensive, controversial, complex and obscure calculations and charged once again? That is not logical or reasonable. The CDA is of the opinion: if you have already paid the value of the ground, you don’t have to pay it again. If it has been bought off, you’re done.  For once and for all. That’s logical.
In addition, it has to be made much more affordable to buy off the leasehold. Scientific research indicates that the value of the ground under dwellings is about ten percent of the WOZ valuation. The CDA adopts that as the maximum.
Does the council need the income? No. If the new municipal council agrees to the CDA proposal, then the council will not lose any money in the short-term. It just means that in decades to come the council has less additional income. But Amsterdam can cope with that just fine. Nearly all the other municipalities in the Netherlands also manage to function without leasehold. The City of Amsterdam has all kinds of other ways of generating income: tourist tax, its share in Schiphol airport, the Harbour and central government funds, for instance. It is unreasonable and unnecessary to ask a relatively small number of homeowners to pay extra.

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