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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 12: Property Tax in Thailand

Sakon Varanyuwatana


Sakon Varanyuwatana1 Thailand is organized in 75 provinces and 795 districts. Each province is administered by an appointed governor, except for Bangkok, in which the governor is elected. In addition, there are 7950 local governments, including provincial administrative organizations (PAO), municipalities, sub-district (tambon) administrative organizations (TAO), Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and Pattaya City. PAOs consist of elected councils, which in turn choose executive committees. Apart from Bangkok and Pattaya City, most urban areas are organized in municipalities. There are 20 metropolitan areas with a population of 50 000 or over, 85 cities which either have a population of 10 000 or over or are provincial capitals, and 1024 towns. Finally, there are 6744 tambons (TAOs) organized in five categories. Most tambons are small rural communities, but some are larger than some municipalities. Both municipalities and TAOs have elected councils.2 Despite this complex local government structure, local revenues and local property taxes in Thailand are not very important. Two local taxes can be considered as property taxes: the buildings and land tax and the land development tax. In addition to these two taxes, there is also a property transfer registration fee based on the market value of transferred property. As can be seen from Table 12.1, these taxes are important as revenue sources for local self-government units. The buildings and land tax accounted for around 80 percent of total locally raised tax revenue in 1997, but its significance subsequently declined due to the introduction of new local revenue sources for PAOs....

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