SUMA, the agency that collects local taxes on behalf of towns and cities in the province, uses information from cadastral to assess the amount of IBI that each house should pay.
For Orihuela, it seems that this information is not up to date and the city estimates it is losing out on one million euros each year as a result.
These are not illegal homes, that is another issue, but rather ones that have been extended by adding storage facilities or enclosed terraces. In all there are 1,600 homes that fall into this category. Add to that, 1,200 that have not been recorded yet, between 1,000 and 1,200 that have pools which are not listed, 1,700 buildings that are over 100 years old before Cadastre existed and 2,000 constructions on farm land. The possibility is that there are 7,700 buildings that are not being taxed.
So what are they going to do about it?
Well, the city council will be conducting a tour of the city using a camera with a GeoLocator to compare the data held by cadastral with the actual data on the ground. In the case of discrepancies, people are urged to volunteer this information so that it can be included on their tax return.
As you can imagine this is going to be a long drawn out process.