More than half of Lithuanian residents favor a new real estate tax because it “will restore social justice,” a poll showed, reports ELTA. Amendments to the law on real estate tax adopted in 2012 introduce that natural persons who own real estate worth more than 1 million litas (300,000 euros) have to pay 1 percent real estate tax. Fifty-three percent of respondents favor such a tax. The residents think that taxing luxury real estate “will restore social justice because the rich will be paying higher taxes.” Thirty-four percent of those who support the tax think that the tax will help to collect additional money to the government’s budget. Twenty-seven percent of residents see negative consequences. The main reason for their skepticism is a conviction that tax payers will find a way to avoid paying it. Almost 12 percent think that the tax will help to regulate the real estate market. Public opinion and market research institution Vilmorus polled over 1,000 Lithuanian residents aged 18 and older.
The project of a prominent art museum similar to world-known museums Ermitazh (Hermitage) and Guggenheim has been again discussed in Lithuania after the draft plan was postponed a couple of years ago due to financial reasons, reports Litovsky Kurjer. In August 2010, Lithuanian prosecutors initiated a case of possible misappropriation of funds on a large scale in relation to the project. The investigation is still on-going. According to the initial plan, the museum would be built near the White bridge in Vilnius. The projected museum would display a part of Russian national museum Ermitazh’s precious collection. Representations of Russia’s Ermitazh currently are open for visitors in Amsterdam, Kazan, and Italy. However, Mayor of Vilnius Arturas Zuokas was less optimistic, and said that the project for the Guggenheim was taken by Helsinki. Therefore, the project was less likely to take place in Lithuania.