China launches 'trial' property tax in two cities (by V. Phani Kumar)
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China announced the details of a property tax in Shanghai and Chongqing on Thursday in another move to curb soaring home prices. The tax, which had been well flagged in several media reports, is being levied on a trial basis initially and will be applied differently in the two cities before it's rolled out across the country, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The tax takes effect Friday. The Western Chinese city of Chongqing will levy the tax on villas owned by individuals and on newly purchased high-end homes at three rates -- 0.5%, 1% and 1.2% -- depending on market transaction prices. Shanghai will apply the tax at a temporary rate of 0.6% and may cut the rate to 0.4% for properties that cost less than an unspecified amount.