Edited by Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack
Chapter 8: Property Tax in Japan
Toshiaki Kitazato Japan has a three-tier governmental system that consists of the national government, 47 prefectures (middle-level governments), and 3219 municipalities (cities, towns and villages). The Local Tax Law at the national level gives municipalities the legal basis to levy various local taxes, including the ﬁxed property tax. Municipalities levy the ﬁxed property tax on (a) land, (b) houses and buildings, and (c) tangible business assets by passing their own by-laws in accordance with the Local Tax Law. Table 8.1 outlines the principal characteristics of this tax. Table 8.1 Japan: outline of ﬁxed property tax, 2002 Municipalities (cities, towns and villages) assess, levy and collect the tax. For 23 special wards of Tokyo, the tax is levied by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Land, buildings and tangible business assets Land: 178 million plots Building: 60 million buildings Owners of land, buildings and depreciable property Land: 38 million persons Buildings: 36 million persons Tangible business assets: 4 million persons Value (fair market value) as of 1 January Land and buildings are reassessed every three years Standard tax rate: 1.4% Maximum tax rate: 2.1% 9.065 trillion yen as of 2001 45.3% of total municipal taxes 25.5% of total local taxes Tax authority Object of taxation Taxpayer Tax base Tax rate Tax revenue Revenue The yield of the ﬁxed property tax is shown in Table 8.2, along with that of the city planning tax levied by 785 municipalities to ﬁnance city works. The 107 108 OECD countries Japan: taxes on property as share of...
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