Time to scrap HDB flat property tax, arbitrary annual valuation

Singaporeans should not delude themselves and continue to believe we own our HDB flats. link

PAP knows that non-ownership means there’s no need to pay any property tax. But since it needs to give the illusion of ownership, HDB lessees living in 3-room flats or bigger are only required to pay a token amount.

Token property tax creates illusion of ownership.

HDB property tax is in fact additional revenue for the government because it is the real owner of all HDB flats, not buyers.

Strangely, even elected opposition party members have not highlighted this issue in Parliament.

Singaporeans had also been forced to pay annual TV license fee of $110 for decades but this was finally scrapped in 2011. For decades, Mediacorp was earning advertising revenue to churn out propaganda for PAP while TV and radio owners were forced to fund Mediacorp.

The token HDB property tax is gradually being reduced and is also likely to be scrapped.

PAP’s arbitrary Annual Valuation (AV) determines the amount of property tax to be paid. If the IRAS says the AV of our HDB flats is $X, then we simply have to pay the tax rate on $X. IRAS example

The problem with IRAS is that it has not been able to explain why AVs of HDB flats are unbelievably low. IRAS reply (AV is derived from market rental rates of similar properties less maintenance cost, furniture and furnishing.)

To cut the story short, I’ll use my executive flat as an example. Although the median transacted rental of similar executive flats was about $2,600 per month or $31,200 per year, IRAS stated the AV of my executive flat to be only $11,200 in 2015. What this implies is the annual maintenance and furnishing costs amounted to $19,980.

According to IRAS, the calculation of AV takes into account “a reasonable allowance for furniture , furnishings and maintenance fees”. Is 64% of total rental “a reasonable allowance” by any measure? How could maintenance and depreciation amount to $1665 per month? Are executive HDB flats as luxuriously furnished as former PAP MP Michael Lim’s chateau? (image below)

Perhaps IRAS thinks our humble HDB flats are furnished by Michael’s interior designer?

Any vacant executive flat could have been easily rented out at about $2000 per month and the explanation by IRAS is really absurd.

AV of HDB flats should not be an arbitrary figure pluck from thin air to suit PAP’s political agenda.

Guess it’s about time for PAP to scrap HDB property tax.

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8 Responses to Time to scrap HDB flat property tax, arbitrary annual valuation

  1. jiakliaobee says:

    the thing is why should owner occupied property be taxed when it is not rented out?

    • Phillip Ang says:

      Property tax helps to pay for maintenance of infrastructures.
      My argument is HDB is so unique that HDB Board/government is the true owner and buyers have been redefined as ‘owners’ through legislation. Since we effectively own nothing except a HDB lease which can be transacted, we should not be paying any taxes.

      • lil says:

        we already pay town council fee for maintenance.

      • Phillip Ang says:

        Town council maintenance fee includes about 30% going into sinking fund. This amount is used for long-term cyclical repairs of building and equipment which belongs to the government. It’s unlike private apartments and condos where residents collectively own common property. In the case of HDB, we own nothing but a 99-year lease.
        S & CC is also used to maintain (cleaning, upgrade, repair) open space and areas which are accessible to the public. Again, these belong to the government. So, in fact, we have been overpaying maintenance fees!
        We understand this more clearly after defining what is public. If “ownership” means something which one has hardly any control over, then have we not been scammed? 😦
        Many people still believe we own our HDB even though it defies common sense. How can anyone own public property?
        Singaporeans need to think just a little deeper to know that we have been scammed. Hope you can discuss this with friends and if there’s something which I am not aware of, please let me know.
        Happy 2017. 🙂

  2. Zaizai says:

    If even opposition mps are not raising the matter, then it either means you are talking rubbish, or they are in cahoots with PAP. Take your pick old man.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      WP may be just looking after their own interests. Or maybe not.
      But by not asking questions which hit at the heart of transparency, they may also be in cahoots with PAP to give the impression of a functioning democracy. Noting is impossible in politics.
      There are too many obvious questions which WP has refused to ask which would have effected meaningful changes benefitting ordinary citizens. You can read a series of emails I wrote to WP @ https://likedatosocanmeh.wordpress.com/category/wp/.

  3. Zaizai says:

    @jiakliaobee like that all the bungalows which are occupied also no need to pay tax? Lol, where is the government gonna get the money to fund other projects? From your bee tang?

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