China Property tax may be expanded

Second-tier cities with rapidly increasing housing prices might be subjected to property tax, business newspaper China Times reported on Wednesday, citing officials from the State Administration of Taxation.

“Expanding the pilot city project for property tax is an important agenda for tax and fiscal departments this year,” said the official, who requested anonymity.

“The eventual timing and plan will be decided upon by central government.”

Exactly what cities might actually have the tax was not revealed.

A property tax pilot program has, so far, been limited to Chongqing and Shanghai.

Previous reports said Hangzhou could be a possible candidate. An official from Hangzhou’s tax bureau did not confirm or deny the report’s accuracy.

Zhang Zhijie, chief analyst with the China Index Academy, a property market research institute, said the possible plan for Hangzhou is similar to Shanghai’s but with a higher tax rate.

Shanghai only taxes newly bought property, and homes of less than 60 square meters are exempt.

Some other cities, including Nanjing, Shenzhen and Qingdao may also face the tax, China Times said.

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