According to Italian legislation for a particular type of real property—lands/areas subject to buildability, but not yet currently buildable—there is a problem related to their “qualification”, or whether or not they must be considered buildable for the purposes of their recurrent taxation. These potentially buildable (POBU) areas, that were previously zoned as “agricultural”, have been rezoned as “general urban planning instruments/regulations” (the General Urban Development Plans or variances, which regulate land governance), whose approval path has yet to be concluded. Their value—the taxable base underpinning their taxation—clearly depends on their qualification (whether or not they are considered buildable). This has produced, in recent years, several disputes between owners and local governments; the law did not give univocal solutions: Today (2019), there is a conflict of case law in relation to considering these areas as being building areas, as it is not clear what estimating procedures should be used. This article is thus based on the assumption that responding to the problems connected with taxing POBU areas must be considered separately from (overcoming, in this way, conflicting case law) the “virtual” qualification of agricultural or buildable area, but must instead, and more simply, be considered as the actual condition it is found in (likelihood of having building potential in the future), and therefore its limitations (present at the time of taxation) and the time necessary for the building to actually be built and not just “potential”. The approach proposed in this article thus offers a solution to the problem that has been raised, by modifying the current de jure approach (defining the moment when the building right is manifested) towards an assessment/appraisal approach (defining the value of the potentially buildable (POBU) area, in relation to its actual conditions). To implement this approach, a methodology—proposing an upgrade of the traditional analytic procedure for the assessment of transformation value has been structured in a way such that consideration may be made of the components characterizing the potentially buildable areas by means of appropriate assessment parameters that go towards forming these areas’ value: These are the market value discount rate of the POBU area in relation to the uncertainty and risk of reaching effective and concrete buildability, and the estimated time needed to complete the procedural path for making the area actually buildable.
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