Taipei mayor asks government to explain stamp tax abolition

Capital stands to lose NT$4.9 billion per year

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je.

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the Cabinet decided Thursday (September 12) to abolish the stamp tax, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he could accept the measure if the central government could explain how to replace the NT$4.9 billion (US$158 million) the capital would lose each year.

The abolition was designed to simplify the national tax system and was welcomed by business associations, though local governments were skeptical as they received the full NT$12 billion the tax generated each year.

The Legislative Yuan still has to ratify the Cabinet decision, but most local politicians opposed it or demanded more details about how the government planned to make up for the lost revenue.

Ko said he agreed with the proposal to do away with a tax often described as outdated and superfluous, yet he added he wanted to hear more precise details from the central government.

The stamp tax ranges from 1 to 4 percent and is levied on certain contracts and real estate transactions. Business groups say the 5 percent business tax already fulfills a similar role, making the stamp tax an unnecessary burden.