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Seoul City asks Yoon’s transition team to lower property taxes

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (Yonhap)
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (Yonhap)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has proposed the transition team of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol to ease the country’s taxes on property, it said Wednesday.

The Seoul city government said it delivered its property tax revision scheme to the transition team on Tuesday.

The proposal asks the transition team to bump up the minimum value of property in the highest tax bracket from the current 500 million won ($404,000) to 900 million won.

Officials from the Seoul city government explained that the proposal was made for those who expect sudden tax increases, caused by the recent rise in home prices.

The city government also asked the transition team to lower the upper limit of the comprehensive real estate tax increase, which can also go up along with surge in housing prices.

For owners of multiple homes, the comprehensive real estate tax could increase by up to 300 percent on-year based on the declared values of their properties. The Seoul city government asked the transition team to lower the rate to 150 percent.

For those who own a single home, the city government suggested lowering the rate to some 120 percent, down from the current 150 percent.

The city government has also proposed that the new administration eventually scrap the country’s comprehensive real estate tax, and incorporate it into local taxes.

In South Korea, taxes related to possessing real estate include the comprehensive real estate tax, which is a national tax, and the local property tax.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government, however, clarified that it will still share its property tax revenue with other local governments to minimize inequality in disposable tax revenue.

The comprehensive real estate tax was originally introduced as a national tax to supplement the finances of local governments, funded by taxes on property in Seoul and the greater Seoul area.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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