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Centre for Tax Policy and Administration

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Making Property Tax Reform Happen in China

A Review of Property Tax Design and Reform Experiences in OECD Countries

This report looks at crucial elements of reforms to growth-friendly recurrent taxes on immovable property. Tax design practices in place in OECD and partner countries are compared and analysed through the lenses of economic theory and empirical analysis. A set of good principles and options for reforming recurrent taxes on immovable property based on the latest experience of property tax reforms around the world are presented that are particularly relevant to the Chinese context, where broader use of recurrent taxes on residential properties is needed to make local public finances more sustainable. Challenges and practices related to the administration of property taxes are explored as well as their interplay with different tax designs. In addition, the main political and administrative hurdles in approving and implementing property tax reforms are discussed, and the approaches commonly employed in successfully dealing with them are examined. Although there are major challenges in designing, reforming and managing a recurrent property tax system, it is possible to overcome these in a manner that allows society to reap benefits in terms of a better allocation of resources, more stable house prices and a fairer income distribution.

Published on November 30, 2021

In series:OECD Fiscal Federalism Studiesview more titles