Quarterly Business Magazine

Tax System to Change due to Speculation in Real Estate

Posted :
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yangon - June 10

In Nay Pyi Daw, in order to control big land owners speculating land price, union minister U Soe Maung is advising state governments to come up with property taxes.

Representatives from regional parliaments, regional businessmen, and members of regional governments should discuss and create a property tax that is suitable to respective regions. Should the creation of this tax requires legislation, the Ministry of Finance would provide assistance in the process, U Soe Maung said.

The minister stated this information while answering Representative U Phyo Min Thein’s question about the government’s plan to control the high land prices across the country to an appropriate level at a Parliament meeting on June 9.

According to U Sai Khun Naung, managing director of Sai Khun Naung Real Estate Company, a property tax would have very little effect on real estate speculators. Instead, it would only complicate the process. Prices might fall to some degrees—but never more than half.
“The prices rise because there is demand and supply in this situation,” said U Sai Khun Naung.

While a property tax to control real estate prices could be effective, the government should also help land owners to divert their focus from land speculating to other businesses, said U Hla Myint, a retired director at Ministry of Commerce.

“If I would have to point at the best business in this country, it would be land speculating. So a stock exchange that is as profitable and easily investable should be created soon,” said U Hla Maung, an economist.

Annually, prices in Myanmar’s real estate market continue to rise from 50 percent to 100 percent. A property tax system, which exists in many countries, is absent in Myanmar. In the United States, a commercial tax is enforced in land sale. In addition to it, the government collects a property tax on the possessed land, according to U Win Oo, a Representative from YayPhyu Township, Thanintharyi Province.

“I believe that if a property tax is enforced, it will control the land prices to an extent. The business people who own a lot of land would have to pay taxes. But we cannot be certain whether it will control the rising land prices,” said U Win Oo, who is both a business owner and a Representative from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.

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