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Legislature raises tax on houses not occupied by owners

Legislature raises tax on houses not occupied by owners

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) The non-owner-occupied house tax rate was increased to at least 1.5 percent and no higher than 3.6 percent annually by the Legislative Yuan Tuesday, while the rate for owner-occupied dwellings remains unchanged. Before the amendment, the rate for non-owner-occupied residential properties was at least 1.2 percent and no higher than 2 percent. The house tax, a tax collected by local governments, normally is levied according to the lowest rate. The rate for owner-occupied is still 1.2 percent of the house's current value annually. Ministry of Finance officials said that raising the non-owner-occupied house tax rate could bring houses vacant or purchased for speculative purposes back on to the market. The amendment also includes houses leased to private hospitals or clinics, and brings professional offices into the category of houses used for business purposes, which have a rate of at least 3 percent and no higher than 5 percent. Previously, these two kinds of usages had rates the same as for offices of non-profit civic organizations, which is at least 1.5 percent and no higher than 2.5 percent. (By Tseng Ying-yu and Kuo Chung-han)