Upon the request of the Government, the Constitutional Court reviewed several provisions of the Ordinance on the Charge for the Use of Construction Land in the Municipality of Postojna (hereinafter referred to as the Ordinance). In this respect, it emphasised that, in accordance with Article 147 of the Constitution, a local community is bound by the conditions determined by the Constitution and the law when regulating charges for the use of construction land; therefore, it cannot prescribe the mentioned charge without observing these conditions.
Regarding point 4 of Article 4 and the fifth line of the chart referred to in the second paragraph of Article 11a of the Ordinance, which enabled the assessment of the charge for the use of construction land also for the military training area of Poček, the Constitutional Court established that they were not inconsistent with the Constitution. As the provision of the first paragraph of Article 59 of the 1984 Construction Land Act – which determined that such charge did not have to be paid for land used for the needs of the defence of the people – ceased to be in force, the Municipality did not violate the requirements following from Article 147 of the Constitution when it determined the obligation to also pay a charge for the mentioned area.
Regarding the provision of Article 8 of the Ordinance, which determined a higher valuation of construction land on which buildings intended for holiday use are built compared to land on which buildings for housing purposes are built, the Constitutional Court established that it was inconsistent with the principle of equality determined by the second paragraph of Article 14 of the Constitution. It held that the Municipality of Piran did not demonstrate how the stated plots of land are different.
With regard to Article 11a and the first and fourth paragraphs of Article 13 of the Ordinance, which enabled the application of the criterion regarding the level of development of the construction land and the criterion regarding the occupancy of the space or building for the assessment of the charge at issue, the Constitutional Court held that they were inconsistent with Article 147 of the Constitution. It stressed that a local community may also determine other criteria for the assessment of such charge which are not regulated in the 1984 Building Land Act. However, a criterion selected in such a manner that it reflects the characteristics of construction land must be connected to the advantages or disadvantages of the land or use thereof. The selected criteria did not reflect such.
The Constitutional Court found that the second paragraph of Article 14 of the Ordinance was also inconsistent with Article 147 of the Constitution as, in the event that a taxable person failed to submit the requested information by the prescribed time limit, it determined that the standard values of construction land shall be applied to assess the charge for the use of such land. When assessing such charge, the municipality may namely apply only the data provided in the official records. If such data are erroneous or incomplete, it must proceed in accordance with the procedure envisaged by the law.
With regard to the mentioned conclusions as regards the inconsistency of the Ordinance with the Constitution, the Constitutional Court also determined the manner of execution of its decision. By so doing, it provided taxable persons the possibility of claiming the refund of any overpaid charges in accordance with the law.
The Government requested that the Constitutional Court also assess the constitutionality and legality of several other provisions of the Ordinance that regulated various exemptions from the payment of the charge for the use of construction land. Since during the proceedings before the Constitutional Court the Ordinance ceased to be in force, the Constitutional Court deemed that no consequences could result from the mentioned provisions that would require a decision thereon by the Constitutional Court, it rejected the Government’s request in this part.