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International Handbook of Land and Property Taxation

Edited by Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack

This comprehensive Handbook explores case studies of land and property taxation in 25 countries (five in each of five regions – OECD, central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America), and focuses on the potential contributions of the property tax to the revenues of urban and rural governments and to more efficient land use.
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Chapter 8: Property Tax in Japan

Toshiaki Kitazato


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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