The eyes also pay! | Article published in Massimo Forte, 5 August 2016.

The eyes also pay!

Imagine the following situation, absurd.

João and António, two friends, decide to buy, each one, an apartment in a building on Avenida do Brasil, in Porto. It so happens that when they arrived at the real estate agency, they were informed that there were only two properties for sale, one on the fourth floor, with a view of the sea and sun-setting orientation, and another on the ground floor, facing east.

They asked real estate consultant about prices. The one with sea view and south-west orientation was fifteen percent more expensive. They conformed, and João bought the most expensive apartment and António the cheapest apartment.

(let’s leave the story for now)

The Municipal Property Tax is a tax that taxes property. It will be agreed that properties with a higher value pay more than a property with a lower value, even though the tax rate is the same.

(let’s go back to the story)

When the two friends went to pay the tax the following year, they found that both João’s property and António’s property paid the same amount. António was disgusted, and rightly so. So, he lamented, “my property is worth fifteen percent less than João’s and I pay exactly the same amount of tax? It’s unfair!”

We also agree, the way the current legislation deals with the subject is unfair and does not differentiate between situations that must be differentiated.

But many other situations have arisen and would not fit all in this article. For example, the residents of Moreira, in Maia, also close to the city of Porto, were presented with a waste incineration plant. The value of their homes has declined. And the value of IMI? No, that one remained the same …

When news began to appear that views and guidance should be taxed, we were satisfied. Finally the Public Administration would put justice in the taxation of the tax!

Our surprise is that when we read the legislative change, we only see a change in the maximum value for the “Location and relative operability” parameter.

In fact, the taxation of views and solar orientation has always existed. Below are listed the items to be evaluated, under the current legislation, for the parameter referred to above, according to Annex I to Ordinance No. 1434/2007 of 6 November:

“Guidelines for the assessment of relative Location and operability:

Majorative or minorative:

  • Orientation of the building;
  • Floor location;
  • Relative location on the floor.


  • Special areas, namely sheds, terraces, open or similar parking lots, in large commercial or service areas or in other buildings.


  • Environmental quality – air, noise or other pollution;
  • Out of the ordinary accessibility;
  • Visual, natural or artificial elements (eg. WWTP, cemeteries);
  • Absence or lower quality of support / leisure infrastructure / equipment in the closed condominium. ”

In this change to the legislation, there was no intention to promote tax justice, rather there was an intention to increase tax revenue. This was also remembered and recognized by the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, who recalled that the State Budget for 2016 provided for the approximation of housing criteria to those of commerce and services.

If this were not the case, the criteria that lead the Tax Authority to apply one amount to the detriment of another would be completely transparent.

This valuation is completely arbitrary and is based on the supposed good judgment of the tax expert who analyzes each situation presented. It may even happen that in the same building there are different values for the parameter, if they are analyzed by different experts!

It is not public knowledge that the National Commission for the Evaluation of Urban Buildings (CNAPU), which supports the Tax Authority in this matter, has presented the criteria that lead to the attribution of the parameter “Location and relative operability”.

If there is no transparency, how can there be justice?

Article written by João Fonseca (Real Estate Appraiser).