ST: Property tax better form of wealth tax for Singapore: Heng Swee Keat

Discussion in 'Budget & Taxes' started by Bic_Cherry, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Bic_Cherry

    Bic_Cherry Active Member

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    ST: Property tax better form of wealth tax for Singapore: Heng Swee Keat

    Budget 2019 debate
    Property tax better form of wealth tax for Singapore: Heng Swee Keat
    PUBLISHED: MAR 1, 2019, 5:00 AM SGT
    Ng Jun Sen: Business Correspondent
    Wealth taxes should ideally target fixed assets like property instead of levying inheritances or other holdings as most household wealth here is held in the form of property, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

    Mr Heng, who was addressing calls from MPs for alternative taxes to levy on the well-off, told Parliament yesterday: "What works best depends on the country's overall tax system, and broader economic and social circumstances."

    Ms Cheryl Chan (Fengshan) called for net-wealth taxes and taxes on inheritances in remarks made in Parliament on Wednesday, and asked if ultra-high-net-worth individuals were willing to share their wealth to uplift the vulnerable and less privileged.


    Last year, several MPs had also argued for such levies to be imposed as an alternative to the planned goods and services tax hike.

    Singapore taxes personal wealth mainly through three channels - property, personal income and consumption, with the top earners contributing more to the state's coffers.

    Taxing the estates of local residents when they die stopped in 2008 as the wealthy tend to manage their financial assets on a global basis.

    Mr Heng said that compared with other types of assets, property is fixed and less mobile: "Indeed, a large portion of Singapore household wealth is held in the form of housing assets."

    The Government has been adjusting property taxes over the years to make them more progressive, he added. This has included levying stamp duties.

    "Owner-occupied properties enjoy a concessionary property tax rate, with the rate being higher for higher-end homes," Mr Heng said. The rate is also higher for property not occupied by owners, such as those left vacant or which are rented out.

    Singaporeans pay an additional 12 per cent for their second property and a further 15 per cent for third and subsequent pro-perties, following changes to the additional buyer's stamp duty last year. Foreigners have to fork out an additional 20 per cent on all purchases.

    Mr Heng also said a new tier for the buyer's stamp duty for property valued above a million dollars was imposed in last year's Budget.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/property-tax-better-form-of-wealth-tax-for-singapore-heng
     
  2. Collateral Damage

    Collateral Damage Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant. Not only are you taxed when you buy it, but then you get taxed annual for continuing to own it.

    How about the government quit spending it faster then it takes it in?
     
  3. Bic_Cherry

    Bic_Cherry Active Member

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    Opaque, populist government which "buys supporters votes" by promising "affordable, high quality" healthcare vz political campaign promises.

    But sickness burden is very high (number 2 in diabetes prevailence just behind USA) because the government does nothing about disease prevention, only focused on disease treatment previously because they wanted to earn high foreign exchange currency by treating rich patients from foreign countries.

    Fire fighting costs much much more than fire prevention, thus the government annual healthcare budget is exponentially expanding. Military spending however, is the highest expense item in the entire government budget.
    ----------------------


    Evidence as follows:

    “If you look around, our investments in health promotion and diseases prevention, I think... it is actually significantly lower than the amount of money we spend on treating diseases,” he (Minister Gan Kim Yong) said.
    : Due to a lack of "holistic approach towards health promotion, taking into account how can we empower consumers so that they make the right choice" Empower consumers with holistic approach to healthcare: Gan Kim Yong To address the challenges of non-communicable diseases, Singapore needs to move upstream and find ways to keep the population healthy, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at the Ministerial Meeting on Universal Health Coverage TODAY (11 Feb 2015).http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/empower-consumers-holistic-approach-healthcare-gan-kim-yong

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    "We want all Singaporeans to have access to affordable, high quality healthcare," Mr Lee said. "No one should be denied medical care because they cannot afford it. This is my commitment to you." [Lee Hsien Loong, NDR 2018] https://www.straitstimes.com/singap...xtended-to-all-sporeans-with-chronic-ailments
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  4. Bic_Cherry

    Bic_Cherry Active Member

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    Think capital gains is also very hard to tax and will also favour the richest because they almost NEVER sell their equity or properties (they already have so much $$$ inside their bank account on tap). Thus, some family properties (e.g. castle/Istana etc) can be held through generations (in a family trust) and never sold, thus the capital gains can never be defined let alone get taxed (different heads of familee manage the family trust through the generations).

    Thus progressive property tax is better because there is an assessable annual value from which an accurate/exact property tax can be derived easily and charged with minimal bureaucratic work involved.

    Minimum spending on bloated bureaucracy, how neat.

    (Of course property taxes will probably be more suitable for cosmopolitan cities where properties are frequently rented/ sold so the government has a database resource to know the valuation of each property or those around. For rural areas where property values are more difficult to ascertain/ different land uses, some other method of taxation may be necessary such as profits derived from the land use / pollutive damage caused by industries built upon the land etc).
     

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