|Source: Yonhap News|
AsiaToday reporter Lee Ji-hoon
One in five homeowners in Seoul is expected to pay comprehensive real estate taxes this year as housing prices and tax rates surged.
According to the data released Sunday by Yoo Gyeong-joon of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), a member of the National Assembly’s Strategy and Finance Committee, the number of individuals subject to the comprehensive rea estate holding tax in Seoul is estimated to be 470,745. The figure was estimated by calculating the average proportion of individual property tax payers in Seoul from 2017 to 2019 to the total number of people who received the bills year, including corporations.
Yoo estimated that there are 2,537,466 Seoul homeowners this year, based on the statistics on home ownership by the National Statistical Office. This is an estimate based on the average growth rate of the number of houses from 2017 to 2020 and the ratio of the number of homeowners to the number of houses.
Based on the calculation, 18.6 percent of homeowners in Seoul are paying comprehensive property taxes. This means that about one in five people who own a house in Seoul received comprehensive real estate tax bills this year.
The ratio of comprehensive property tax payers to homeowners in Seoul accounted for 6.2 percent in 2016, but jumped to 7.5 percent in 2017, when the Moon Jae-in administration took office. The figure jumped to 8.7 percent in 2018, and 11.5 percent in 2019. Last year, when real estate prices soared, the figure surged to 15.2 percent and even came close to 20 percent this year. The proportion has more than doubled over three years.
Out of the 15,025,805 homeowners estimated nationwide this year, individuals account to 885,000 or 5.9 percent. The figure is three times higher than that in 2016.
“The finance ministry tried to divide the nation by claiming that only 2 percent of the population were subject to comprehensive real estate taxes, but it intentionally reduced the figure,” Yoo said. “Since the tax is applied to homeowners, it should not count the total population that includes infants and the homeless, but compare the number of homeowners and those subject to comprehensive real estate tax.”