China may start to levy a long-expected property tax in the coming few years, a senior official with the top legislature’s financial committee said at the 8th Caixin Summit on Thursday. The central government has accelerated the drafting of a property tax law since it started to experiment with this kind of tax in some cities in 2011, hoping to diversify local governments’ sources of income and control property speculation. But the draft law has not yet been submitted to the National People’s Congress (NPC) for deliberation due to debates over the law and concerns about the possible social impact of the new tax. Huang Qifan, a vice chairman of the NPC’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said at the Caixin summit: “Generally speaking, this is an important reform arrangement for a healthy and sustainable housing market. You won’t have to wait for 10 years or 20 years. The government will start levy the tax in the next few years.”
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