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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Taiwan plans special property tax

Taiwanese authorities said Friday they plan to levy a special property tax in a bid to curb rising real estate prices and narrow the widening income gap.

The finance ministry is proposing a minimum 10 percent special tax on non-residential properties that change owners frequently, aimed at countering speculative activities, said an official, without elaborating.

The proposal, which requires parliament's approval, is expected to take effect as early as March 2011, according to local media.

Taiwan's property prices have been on the rise on the back of the island's recovery from the global recession last year.Meanwhile, the gap between the island's richest and poorest has continued to widen according to various government figures.

The ministry is also planning a "rich man's tax" on high-end products, services and trade to help reduce the gap between the island's haves and have-nots.

The most prosperous 20 percent in Taiwan reported average disposable incomes of 1.79 million Taiwan dollars (56,000 US) last year, or 6.34 times more than the income of the poorest 20 percent, according to government figures.

This was the highest since 2001, said the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, which attributed it to a global trend of growing inequality.

By The Star

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