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Big burden seen in 'irrational' property tax


16:19, December 06, 2012

THE Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has suggested a tax levy on urban dwellers who have a living space of scarcely more than 40 square meters. This suggestion in a recent report has triggered a public outcry that the idea is irrational.

The State Administration of Taxation in September announced China will expand its pilot property tax reform beyond Shanghai and Chongqing to further cool rising housing prices.

Last year the two cities started raising taxes on those with multiple homes to penalize and discourage speculators. In keeping with this trend, the academy advocates stricter rules but has angered the public, especially those who are struggling to pay off mortgages for their one and only house.

In an online survey, nearly 60 percent of the surveyed opposed the proposed tax, saying it would be an overwhelming burden.

If the "40-square-meter levy" comes true, the nation will not only grab money from the rich and the speculators, but also from ordinary people, for the proposal would even require someone with only one apartment to contribute to tax revenues.

The academy must consider why its suggestion has generated so much ire. Have those academicians conducted serious market research before coming up with their proposal?

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