Govt to meet over cutting back IMU property tax

'Agreement has been reached, many will not have to pay'

Govt to meet over cutting back IMU property tax

Rome, August 28 - The fragile Italian government is set to meet Wednesday to finalize a deal over the future of a controversial property tax known as IMU, after late meetings a day earlier seemed to have produced an agreement between center-left and center-right partners in the cabinet to scrap the tax and fulfill a campaign promise of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. "The biggest agreement possible has been reached, an agreement that will be perfected in the coming hours by the cabinet. This discussion over IMU will definitively end today. The agreement reached is to readjust the tax," said Nicola Latorre, a Senator with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD). "A very large part of the population will be excluded from paying, while the rest will have to pay progressively adjusted amounts. The details will become clear in the final accord". Berlusconi and his supporters have threatened to bring down the government of Premier Enrico Letta since its founding in April if it failed to roll back the tax, a central plank in his campaign platform in February elections when his centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party roared to second and ultimately won a junior partnership in the current left-right coalition. PdL House whip Renato Brunetta said after talks late Tuesday that the government was looking for ways to cover the revenue lost from the tax, something Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni has long said the country could not afford. Revenue proposals include new taxes on things such as gambling, alcohol and tobacco, as well as spending cuts.

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