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China May Consider Property Tax Expansion, State Researcher Says

The Chinese government may consider expanding its property tax trials when officials review the first implementation of the levy in Shanghai and Chongqing, a state researcher said.

“The government will discuss the experiences from the property tax trials in Shanghai and Chongqing at the end of the year and may discuss an expansion plan then,” Jia Kang, head of the Chinese Finance Ministry’s research institute for fiscal science, said in a phone interview today. “The conditions for extending the property tax nationwide are still not ripe.”

China introduced the property tax trials in the two cities in January as part of the government’s campaign to rein in surging home prices amid concerns a real-estate bubble was forming. Property prices are about to reach a “turning point” as developers face tighter liquidity, the central bank said Dec. 1, following Premier Wen Jiabao’s pledge last month that the curbs won’t be relaxed.

China may decide and announce a plan to expand the property tax trials to other cities at the end of the year, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing Jia. The researcher said the newspaper may have misquoted him.

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