One in four private home owners will pay less property tax next year after the taxman marked down the annual values of about 73,300 homes. This comes on the heels of property tax relief for many owners of Housing Board flats, who saw their annual values cut by about 3 per cent earlier this week (annual values: property values every year using a mass appraisal system that bases the annual value on rents paid for similar homes nearby).
The slowing rental market has led it to reduce the annual values for 25.7 per cent of private homes, in contrast to the 2014 levy when only 2 per cent of private homes had their annual values reduced.
Some home owners said their annual values were skewed higher by neighbours who renovated their properties, raising the annual values for the rest of the street. Property taxes are also a sore point for some private home owners at the higher end of the rental market. This group says it has been paying higher levies since the Government introduced a more progressive property tax schedule at the start of this year.
Higher annual values should be a result of higher annual rents, but such properties are also more difficult to rent out in the soft real estate market. There are about 70,000 landed residential properties and 215,000 private high-rise flats here.
In the 12 months to March 31, property tax contributed $4.2 billion – 10 per cent of total tax revenue. Of that, taxes on private residences contributed $720 million, and Housing Board flats contributed $150 million.