Tbilisi City Court rejected former parliamentary chairperson Nino Burjanadze’s bid to block the Finance Ministry’s claim on GEL 1.25 million in tax for a mansion she received from the state.
In early May, 2008 President Saakashvili issued a decree authorizing the sale of the mansion and a 31,696 square meter plot of land to Burjanadze for a GEL 1 in Tskneti outside Tbilisi. The decree explained that the step was made because of Burjanadze’s efforts “in the development of parliamentarianism and democracy in Georgia.” Although the property was bought by Burjanadze for only one Lari, she still had to pay a tax based on the property’s market value.
Democratic Movement-United Georgia (DMUG), an opposition party which Burjanadze founded in November, 2008, claims that that the property’s price, fixed by the authorities, was initially GEL 2.8 million; hence Burjanadze had to pay about GEL 300,000 in tax, according to DMUG.
“But the price [of the property] was increased by the authorities to GEL 12,1 million after Burjanadze decided to go into opposition,” Temur Murgulia of DMUG said last month, when commenting on the case.
He said that Burjanadze was ready to pay GEL 300,000 in tax, based on the property’s initial price.
Burjanadze appealed to the Tbilisi City Court demanding annulment of the decision of Finance Ministry’s Revenue Service, but in its ruling on August 18 the court upheld the decision ordering Burjanadze to pay GEL 1.233 million in tax, plus GEL 18,127 fine for a delay to pay tax before April, 2009.
Burjanadze is expected to appeal the ruling to the upper court within next two weeks.