Tue, Jan 28, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Land administration agents protest

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Thousands of land administration agents protest outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday against the Cabinet’s request to overturn an amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Thousands of land administration agents yesterday rallied outside the legislature against the Executive Yuan’s request to rescind an amendment to the Land Administration Agents Act (地政士法), which is to be voted on today by lawmakers at a special legislative session.

The amendment was passed by the legislature on Jan. 3. It aims to ease land administration agents’ responsibility for registering real-estate sales prices by allowing them a second chance to revise a registration.

However, the Executive Yuan has decided the amendment could provide a loophole that might undermine the actual-price registration system for property transactions launched by the government on Aug.1, 2012, to curb property speculation and increase the transparency in the housing market.

If more than half the 112 lawmakers — excluding the legislative speaker — vote against the request, the amendment will remain valid.

The Association of Real-Estate Attorneys, which sponsored the rally, said land administration agents were forced to take to the streets to call for the Executive Yuan’s request to be dismissed because their backs were against the wall.

“Land administration agents should only serve as commissioned agents who help the buyers and owners register the actual transaction prices of properties at their request,” association director-general Su Jung-chi (蘇榮淇) said.

Meanwhile, members of the People Are the Boss held a press conference in front of the legislature to protest against both the amendment and the Executive Yuan’s request that it be reconsidered. They said both were efforts by the government to camouflage speculative land hoarding by corporations.

“Levying housing taxes based on the actual prices of properties is the key to curbing property speculation … yet the government chose to make land administration agents the scapegoat for the loopholes in the price registration system,” People Are the Boss spokesperson Yuan Kung-chi (袁孔琪) said.

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