Cultural life in Oslo distressed over property taxes

Kunstnernes HusOSLO.Kunstnernes Hus.Photo : Morten Holm / Scanpix

Several cultural activity venues in Oslo say property taxes go beyond the funding supply. Kunstnernes Hus have to pay more in property taxes than they receive in operational funding from the municipality.

While municipal and government buildings are exempt from property tax, this is not automatically the case for foundations and institutions, even if they’re non-commercial, wrote Aftenposten.

‘It is an expense we haven’t budgeted for, and we didn’t know how big it would be before the demand emerged’, said Administrative Manager, Erling B. Hjort, of Kunstnernes Hus.

He runs a building that can’t be sold, rearranged, modified or used for commercial purposes. Hjort says he will apply for an exemption, but experiences from Kunstnerforbundet are not encouraging.

‘We searched in November, but were rejected by reference to regulations that do not include culture’, said the union’s general manager, Kjersti Solbakken.

Finance Commissioner, Robert Steen, encourage those who believe they are entitled to drop the tax, to apply for exemptions.

He stressed that it is the form, not the business of the house which is essential, but he would not anticipate the outcome of such applications.

‘No, they should in the first case be assessed in the administration before an exemption may be approved by the City Council.

Several museums said they will have put up prices, or reduce the offers they have if they are forced to pay property tax’.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today