‘Progressive property rates a source of gov’t income’

A tax partner with PwC Hong Kong on Thursday said the highlight of the Budget was the announcement of progressive property rates, which could bring in additional long-term revenue for the government.

Agnes Wong was commenting after the Financial Secretary unveiled a HK$170 billion budget which included consumption vouchers for all, progressive tax breaks, and rental relief for small businesses.

Wong told RTHK that the progressive rating system for domestic properties was the highlight of the budget.

She pointed out that this is not expected to have a “wide-ranging” impact on property owners.

“It is based on the government’s estimate that the impact will amount to only two percent,” she said.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan in a televised forum on Wednesday night acknowledged that the rates reform announced in the budget strikes a blow against wealthy landlords who make a living renting out luxury homes.

But he said it’s a first step towards sharing the benefits of economic success.

The reforms will mean more expensive properties attract proportionally higher rates. People who own multiple homes will be able to claim rate relief on only one.