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For those who saw last week's NYT story about how foreign billionaires generally pay lower property tax rates in NYC than the average NYC homeowner, this is not at all far-fetched.
Supposedly Queens is 47% foreign-born. I can't see this catching on in the USA, unless we use the more civilized definition (not seen in Asia) of "foreigner", which is a person from a foreign country with no residence in the USA.
The article says that even immigrants to HK who don't yet have permanent residence will be taxed. I wonder how long you have to reside in Hong Kong to become a permanent resident. If that number is small (under 5 years, say), then this tax might conceivably be something other than a money-grab, but it doesn't look like it.
you need to reside in Hong Kong for 7 years in order to become a permanent resident.
the fvcking honkees finally had a good idea
if they cant class mainland buyers as foreigners the point is moot.
Red-herring. The US legal definition of legal permanent resident is sufficient for this. This idea is essentially the same as Florida'a higher property tax for non-residents. All you need to do is promulgate an across the board 1% a year property taxes on all properties above $500k and 2.5% for those above $1MM 100% with no exception. And give New York state tax filers a credit in the exact same amount.
@allisunni - Thanks; that sounds reasonable enough. Still, imposing taxes on legal immigrants like this isn't going to help HK attract talent. I suppose it will help landlords, though, since immigrants looking for a long-term residence will just keep renting until they have a permanent visa.
@deanc - I caught that point too. Hong Kong as we know it will be gone inside half a century if they don't do something about how Mainland China is eating them alive.
@Jason - Wouldn't that plan be unfair to people who own $500k properties but pay less than $5k in state tax? With a 6.85% maximum state income tax rate, nobody earning under about $73,000 would have that much state tax to claim back. (Actually the income is even lower, because there are several brackets below the 6.85% maximum.)
When I was an expat in HK, you could obtain a residence visa by buying a property for a million dollars. Many expats took advantage of that offer in order to get residence status. Is that no longer an option?
"@Jason - Wouldn't that plan be unfair to people who own $500k properties but pay less than $5k in state tax? With a 6.85% maximum state income tax rate, nobody earning under about $73,000 would have that much state tax to claim back. (Actually the income is even lower, because there are several brackets below the 6.85% maximum.)"
I meant a refundable credit. Its just an idea, a way to tax only non-NYC residents more than actual full time NYers. I am sure it could be structured all sorts of ways.