Myanmar to impose property tax soon?

Despite the advice of experts not to interfere, Myanmar's government may impose new property taxes amid fears that spiralling property prices could discourage foreign companies from investing in the country.In fact, land prices in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and former capital; have surpassed that of Manhattan, at US$1,000 psf (S$1,279) to US$1,500 psf (S$1,919).Prices in regions outside of Yangon have also soared. For instance, investors bought up land on both sides of the Yangon-Dala River after the government unveiled plans to build a bridge there. "We have (internally) proposed tax prices for land in the Yangon region, and are looking at rates for the entire country. We will make an announcement soon," said Maung Thein, Deputy Minister of Finance. The move aims to stabilise the market, curb speculation and boost the government's income, he added.Meanwhile, authorities have temporarily suspended the Yangon-Dala River bridge project until new officials are elected in 2015, said U Soe Thein, Minister of the President's Office.Although economists have admitted that prevailing prices are too high, they are urging the government not to interfere and allow the market to rise and fall based on demand."The rising cost of land is indeed a hindrance to the economic development of the city and the country at large. But it is not due to sellers' greed -- it is simply the trend of demand-pull market economics," explained Professor Aung Tun Thet, a member of the State Socio-Economic Development Advisory Council. Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories email Related Stories: UK stamp duty to hit almost every homeownerCentaline holds its first UK property eventCity Complex hits 80% sales

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