The Practical Choice for Real Property Tax Reform


  • Yansheng ZHU


Defining the functions of real property tax (“RPT”), levying RPT fairly,
and legislating RPT democratically are the three core issues of the current RPT
reform, which are addressed in this paper. Firstly, even when granted the capacity,
RPT cannot solely fulfil the function of controlling the real property market. With
regard to the second issue, abolishing the tax exemption for personal noncommercial
housing coincides with the principle of tax equity. Tax equity is
enhanced by considering the size of residential area in addition to current value
assessment when calculating tax payable. Finally, pilot programs of real property
reform within the present tax legislation do not violate the principle of legality. The
desire to realize the “ideal type” of such principle in theory cannot outweigh the
necessity of those pilots.

Author Biography

Yansheng ZHU

Professor of Law and Deputy Dean of the School of Law Associate Director of the Centre for International
Tax Law and Comparative Taxation, Xiamen University