Explainer-Is China finally ready to roll out a property tax?

China’s long-mooted – and long-resisted – property tax is set to gain new momentum as President Xi Jinping throws his support behind what experts say would be one of the most profound changes to the country’s real estate policies in a generation. The idea of a levy on home owners first surfaced in 2003 but has failed to take off due to concerns that it would damage property demand and tank prices, hurting household wealth and future real estate projects, and triggering a fiscal crisis for local governments addicted to land sales for income. But the push by China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong to narrow disparities between ultra-rich urbanites and the rural poor under the banner of “common prosperity” may provide the needed political will to push through a nationwide property tax, currently on the legislative agenda for 2021-2025.


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