Owners of big houses ‘should pay higher tax’

The government's proposed new local property charge should be higher than currently planned for owners of big houses, members of parliament have said.

The current proposals would see today’s property tax replaced with a local property charge, capped at 4,500 kronor. The new charge is set to come into effect on 1st January next year. The government has said it regards property tax as “unjust, and lacking in popular support and legitimacy.”

Now, members of the parliamentary taxation committee drawn from three of the four governing parties have said that the proposed cap is too low.

“I think that many of those affected would not think it strange if they were to pay 10,000 kronor in property charges, when they currently pay 40,000 and possibly wealth tax as well,” said Lennart Hedquist, the Moderate chairman of the tax committee.

A higher ceiling for the property charge would allow a proposed increase in capital gains tax to be limited, Hedquist said.

Hedquist’s proposal received a cautious welcome from representatives from the Centre Party and Liberal Party.

“Some houses, mine included, would get big cuts very quickly,” said Liberal representative on the tax committee, Gunnar Andrén.

But the Christian Democrat chairman of the tax committee, Stefan Attefall, said he is sceptical to Hedquist’s proposal. He said he does not want to create a complicated system, and asked colleagues to wait for the results of the current consultation exercise before commenting.