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Commenting article: Sofia Deputy Mayor Suggests Earthquake Tax

The Deputy Mayor for Security from the Sofia municipality, Ivan Sotirov, has proposed the creation of a special fund for cases of earthquakes, with contributions from all properties.

Sotirov has proposed the implementation of a tax that, in his words, might be minimal, but should be divided among all properties in the Bulgarian capital.

The deputy mayor also pointed out that the Sofia municipality should begin investigating and investing in safe-proving of important buildings, like the public buildings and the critical infrastructure.

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#1
Bill - 13 Sep 2010 // 20:48:58

Sarkan:

I may have a distorted image of Turkey, but it seems to me that much of the land surface is agricultural, so it would seem to me that in those areas the standard of living would be quite different from the big cities. It is less likely that they could afford the higher premiums, if there weren't some kind of modulation.

The US social security program is much the same way. It's intended to supplement income, not replace it.

#2
sarkan - 13 Sep 2010 // 20:39:32

Bill,

It is not a flat rate for sure but the variance is held as less as possible. The idea is not full compensation of the damage but compensation to a limited amount. If you want higher compensation, you buy an additional insurance. But even this is not very expensive.

In this system, the government does not have to collect taxes before or after the earthquake. It is done by insurance companies where there is much less mismanagement, embezzlement, uneven compensation or similar government illnesses.

#3
Bill - 13 Sep 2010 // 20:27:41

Sarkan:

Does that mean a flat rate for everyone in the country, or does it vary according to location? There should be some kind of variation, in my mind, proportional to the risk.

#4
sarkan - 13 Sep 2010 // 20:22:00

Bill,

"But what about the insurance premiums? They must be horrendous in earthquake-prone areas."

The earthquake insurance is compulsory, which means that there are huge number of participants paying premiums. This results in maximum premium/risk compensation ratio. Therefore, the premiums are not needed to be very high. For my flat in Istanbul, I pay a premium around 300$ per year.

#5
Bill - 13 Sep 2010 // 19:29:29

Sarkan:

"Try the compulsory earthquake insurance like Turkey."

I hadn't known of that, but it seems like a good idea. But what about the insurance premiums? They must be horrendous in earthquake-prone areas. I do know that home insurance fees are much higher in the quake zones in California.

#6
sarkan - 13 Sep 2010 // 19:25:59

"The Deputy Mayor for Security from the Sofia municipality, Ivan Sotirov, has proposed the creation of a special fund for cases of earthquakes, with contributions from all properties."

Try the compulsory earthquake insurance like Turkey. That "special" fund will disappear in the hands of the government through mismanagement and embezzlement where special insurance companies will do much better in compensating the damages.

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