The Ministry of the Interior’s recently passed amendment to the Equalization of Land Rights Act (平均地權條例) to normalize overly low land valuations won’t effectively solve the problem of land hoarding, experts said.
Once the amendment passes legislative reviews, publicly announced land values will be reassessed every year instead of every three years. Current land values could be flexibly adjusted upon the occurrence of short-term irregular fluctuations in property prices.
“Although it [the amendment] will improve the current situation, the publicly announced property valuation — a basis of land value tax — is still a far cry from actual market values,” said Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚), a land economics professor at National Chengchi University.
The amendment was made to address public concerns that property valuations were too low and didn’t reflect actual market values, resulting in property developers hoarding land to profit from housing price speculation.
On Friday last week, Hsiao Fuu-dao (蕭輔導), head of the ministry’s Department of Land Administration, said the proposed reevaluation of publicly announced land values on a yearly basis would gradually increase land value taxes for property owners, thereby reining in land arbitrage.
The flexible adjustment of the current land value is targeted at property investors or speculators, who will have to pay higher taxes for capital gains from rising land values, Hsiao said.
The current land value, which is announced once every year at present, is the basis for levying land value incremental tax.
“Big corporations are not too worried about it because the adjustments are too small for them,” Chang said, adding that it would be more effective to adjust the tax rate than the tax base. “The impact of the adjustments of the tax base on property speculation will be limited.”
At present, local land value assessment committees, consisting of experts, academics and regional representatives, meet once every three years to assess property valuations. However, oftentimes the land value remains unchanged after assessments because of public pressure.
Chang said that even if the frequency of meetings were increased, the problem would still exist.
“The land value should be decided based on market values rather than human behavior,” he said.
HB Housing (住商不動產) spokeswoman Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) agreed, saying that local governments would not likely raise the land value too much because it could hurt regular home owners.
“But in the long run, the land value tax should reflect actual market prices if the government wishes to increase tax burdens on property owners to prevent land hoarding,” she said by telephone.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and