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Updated: 2013-11-05 07:23
( China Daily)

Property tax too much to bear

Comment on "Spike in divorces linked to tax loophole" (China Daily, Oct 30)

I think the ever-growing divorce trend is a very serious problem in society. Divorce and property are totally two different things, but now they are becoming closely interwined, which may lead to a vicious cycle in society.

To a large degree the government is responsible for this strange and undesirable phenomenon. Skyrocketing house prices are mainly driven up by local governments, because their fiscal revenues heavily depend on land transactions. The majority of the cost of house construction is paid to government in various fees and taxes.

Recently land transactions in second- and third-tier cities have gradually dropped due to low house purchase rate. It's said that government may adopt macro-control means and introduce a property tax nationwide, as it tries to offset the shortfall in local revenues from land transactions. I strongly disagree on levying a property tax. In China houses are not a permanent asset. People only hold the property rights for 70 years.

Moreover, people in China are among the most heavily taxed in the world. A property tax will only further increase people's tax burden. If the government does levy a property tax, I suggest all the tax revenue to be distributed fairly to cover healthcare, education and pensions, to ease the burden on people later in life.

Jin Guangze, from China Daily forum

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(China Daily 11/05/2013 page9)

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