(ECNS) - Qiu Baoxing, a former vice minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and a member of the State Council, has suggested that authorities should impose a vacancy tax on empty homes amid measures to “gradually flatten, rather than pierce through” the real estate bubble.
Qiu said China's housing vacancy rate is relatively high, from about 70 percent in northern Ordos city in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to about 10 to 20 percent in the capital city Beijing, while the rate is usually about five percent in countries with a vacancy tax.
The real estate tax should be divided into four tax types, namely consumption tax, turnover tax, vacancy tax and property tax, as the country faces a long-term, daunting challenge to curb property speculation and a real estate bubble, he said.
If the property tax was levied five years after the implementation of the first three taxes it would help maintain people’s consumption power and wealth, he said.
In addition, the real estate regulation should also be shifted from central government to local government, from administrative means to economic, and from centralized to separate, Qiu said.