Korea has no plan to raise ownership tax: finance minister
Published : Sep 12, 2017 - 17:12
Updated : Sep 12, 2017 - 17:12
South Korea's top economic policymaker said Tuesday that he has no immediate plan to raise property ownership tax as a tool to cool down the speculative movement in the local real estate market.

The government earlier announced a series of strong measures to curb price hikes in the capital city and its surrounding areas. It designated Seoul and other cities, including the administrative city of Sejong, as "overheated speculative districts" to tighten mortgage rules and restrict transactions of new homes.

Still, the real estate market has been flying high, sparking heated debate in politics over raising the property ownership tax.

South Korea`s Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon speaks at a press briefing held in Sejong on Sept. 12, 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance) (Yonhap)

"I understand that some politicians are calling for a hike in ownership tax, but President Moon Jae-in has denied such a plan at his previous press conference," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a press briefing. "The government is not considering it."

He said the finance ministry is working with related government agencies like the Financial Service Commission and the Bank of Korea to map out a comprehensive scheme to keep ballooning household debt under control.

South Korea's overall household debt came to 1,388.3 trillion won as of end-June, posing a threat to Asia's fourth-largest economy.

"Many economists pointed out the excessive liquidity may have caused the price hike in the property market in South Korea and across the world," he said. "The finance ministry, the central bank and the FSC are preparing for the measures. We are now making the final touches."

The government is expected to release a comprehensive plan next month. (Yonhap)