Constitutional amendment gives federal states more room for manoeuvre on vacancy taxes

On 17 April 2024, the National Council passed an amendment to Art. 11 para. 1 no. 3 of the Federal Constitutional Law with the votes of the governing parties and the SPÖ (see here). This expressly assigns the “levying of public charges for the purpose of preventing the non-utilisation or under-utilisation” of housing to the jurisdiction of the federal states. This extends their room for manoeuvre when determining vacancy or second home levies – in particular with regard to the amount of such levies.


Whether and to what extent use is made of this extended area of competence is at the discretion of the provinces or, if authorised by provincial law, at the discretion of the municipalities. At the same time, the freedom of property and the principle of objectivity continue to represent important barriers to excessive tax levels.

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