Alliance: capital gains tax on houses could rise

The leaders of the four parties in Sweden's opposition Alliance have agreed to raise capital gains tax on house sales, as part of a package to finance the abolition of property tax.

The leaders of the Moderate, Liberal, Centre and Christian Democrat parties reached an agreement on Sunday night, according to Swedish Radio. Profit from house sales is currently taxed at a rate of 20 percent. It is not clear by how much the Alliance will raise the tax.

Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund said that it might take longer than expected to complete the reforms, with the deadline of 2008 announced in the summer likely to be passed. The parties confirmed, however, that the first stage – freezing the taxable values of properties – would still come next year.

The party leaders also confirmed that mortgage interest tax relief would remain unaltered. They also said that the local tax that will partially replace property tax will be somewhat higher than the 2,800 kronor per year proposed by the Christian Democrats.

“But we are also agreed that nobody will need to pay more than they have paid in property tax in 2007. That is a signal to those who today have low property tax,” said Hägglund.

The leaders were meeting to discuss the content of the Alliance’s joint manifesto. The abolition of property tax is expected to be a key element of their election platform.