Should HDB dwellers pay property tax?
With the property prices shooting to the sky, many HDB owners are also celebrating their good fortunes for sitting in an ever appreciating property. Quietly in another corner the Inland Revenue is also celebrating as property tax will go up accordingly. And for those who cannot capitalise on their good fortunes, cause they only have that property to live in, they can only smile when reading how much their properties are worth now, but at the same time seeing their property taxes going up in real terms. The question is whether HDB dwellers should be paying property tax at all as their flats are technically on 99 year rental. The 99 year HDB leasehold is very different from a private 99 year leasehold that does not come with so many restrictions and regulations. It straddles somewhere between a genuine leasehold and a rental flat and the property tax paid should be much lower than what it is. For the moment I am not too sure of the formula. Is it based on rental potential or the market value of the flat? Even if it is based on rental value, different location fetches different rentals and most units cannot be fully sublet. The most sore group would be those that are living in their HDB flats but ended having to pay ever higher property taxes while not benefitting from any rental income. So, is higher value really good?