The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of significantly under-reporting the prices of land she sold in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), urging the DPP chairperson to release relevant contracts rather than mask the irregularities with lawsuits.
Former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) told a news conference yesterday that the 15 plots of land in Neihu that Tsai purchased in April 1988 were sold in June 1997 for at least NT$500,000 per ping (3.3m2), as opposed to just 1.4 times the 1996 publicly announced land value of NT$198,000 per ping as Tsai had said.
“According to information from publicly listed companies, Compal Electronics Co (仁寶電腦) and Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) bought three plots of land near Tsai’s land in 1996 and 1997,for NT$458,000, NT$512,500 and NT$522,000 per ping respectively,” Chiu said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Since the three plots only face a 20m wide road, while Tsai’s properties were beside the 60m wide Tiding Boulevard, it is estimated that Tsai’s properties had a higher market value and were sold for more than NT$500,000 per ping, Chiu said.
Chiu urged Tsai to face up to the issue instead of resorting to lying to cover up potentially shady deals, attempts to evade taxes or collusion between businessmen and government officials.
“If Tsai disagrees with the sales prices we estimated, she is more than welcome to make public relevant sales contracts to refute our claims,” Chiu added.
Chiu made the accusations hours before Tsai filed a lawsuit against him, KMT caucus deputy whip Alicia Wang (王育敏) and KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元).
Wang dismissed Tsai Ing-wen’s criticism that the KMT’s allegations were based on erroneous information on the size, price, buyer and plot numbers.
In a property declaration filed by Tsai Ing-wen in 1996, one year after the area was rezoned, she reported owning 271 ping of land. Wang said.
“However, on Thursday last week, Tsai Ing-wen claimed she registered 149 ping after it was rezoned, before modifying her remarks on Friday, saying that it was actually 170 ping,” Wang said.
“It is Tsai Ing-wen who keeps changing her story and cannot get her numbers right,” Wang said.
“Regardless of how much power a land speculator seizes, people can hit back any time, twice as hard,” Alex Tsai said.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) of the KMT said Tsai Ing-wen could have been attempting to evade the land value increment tax, as her land was sold just 24 days before the government publicly announced land value increases from NT$198,000 to NT$264,000 per ping.
The land value increment tax is levied according to a property’s most recent publicly announced land value.
“It is questionable why the DPP cited the 1996 publicly announced land value as the basis for its estimation of the sales price of Tsai Ing-wen’s properties, as the 1997 data would reflect the properties’ values more truthfully,” Wang said.
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