Castle Wire: Italians are Offloading Castles as Taxes Become Onerous

Thursday, January 29, 2015, by Rachel B. Doyle

Taking care of a castle in Italy used to be something that was relatively affordable, with yearly taxes often much lower than the maintenance costs on an apartment in the U.S. Many castles had been in the family for generations. But in the midst of the Eurocrisis, in 2011, taxes on historic buildings in the country increased by 20 or 30 times. Suddenly, owners who had previously been paying 3,000 euros were on the hook for 75,000 euros. As a consequence, several dozen castle-owners put their magnificent estates up for sale, or were forced to abandon them if they did not sell (apparently there is not much of a market for castles located outside of tourist regions, like Tuscany). “It is not necessarily true that the owner is a millionaire, like one can assume in countries like the United States or England,” Dimitri Corti, chief executive at Lionard, a real estate company that is currently selling 70 castles, told the New York Times. “Some do need liquidity.”

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