Tax on housing

Updated: 2012-06-06 08:05

(China Daily)

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Tax on housing

Kunming mayor Zhang Zulin admitted that many civil servants in government departments with power may own several houses. The reason is an open secret: power speculation, says an article on Excerpts:

Zhang recalled that when he worked as a quality and technical supervision official, he found that a young colleague had purchased three houses after working for only five years.

This is in sharp contrast to the experience of most ordinary people, who draw on their whole life's work and use relatives' savings to buy a house.

An official cannot buy one house, let alone three houses, with what he earns in five years. As all know, it's the power of his position that enabled Zhang's colleague to fill the gap between what he needed and what he earned.

For example, a list was posted online in April 2009, exposing 143 local officials in Wenzhou who had purchased urban redevelopment housing at prices far below the market price. And paradoxically many public-rent and low-rent housing communities have car parks crowded with limousines, the sign of power and money.

It is impossible to completely eliminate such tainted deeds, because such power abuses are rampant among all administrative departments, even those in charge of supervision.

Given the status quo, even a thorough anti-corruption campaign would be unable to change the situation overnight, but efforts should be made to prevent the situation from getting any worse.

An effective measure that should be adopted immediately is a housing tax so that those who have more than one house pay more tax. This can then be used to construct affordable housing for the needy.

(China Daily 06/06/2012 page9)