Fully 48 of 71 Slovak cities increased real estate taxes as of January 1, and the average hike was by a third, reported the Finance Ministry. Košice, Trnava, and Banská Bystrica adopted the steepest hikes. The rates had risen slowly in recent years, but now cities justify the increase by cuts in the personal income tax (its intake is a municipal revenue) and the imposition of free school lunches and travel vouchers. Slovakia still has among the lowest real estate taxes in the EU. In 2018, the average EU member collected 1.5% of GDP in real estate taxes, while the Slovak intake was just 0.4%.