Return of property tax ?: SPD wants to make the rich poorer again

              Sunday, December 08, 2019

              The SPD writes at its party congress the word "justice" very big on the flags. The beleaguered party wants to convince, for example, with the reintroduction of a wealth tax. Nine billion euros could supposedly be taken – the money is about to flow into schools and day-care centers.
              Rich citizens should reach deeper into the pockets of the state – at least when it comes to the SPD. The Social Democrats want to reintroduce wealth tax from a net worth of two million euros. The Federal Party Congress in Berlin decided by a large majority that the tax rate should be one percent and rise to 1.5 percent and two percent for so-called super-rich. Allowances of two million euros for single people and four million euros for married people should ensure that the tax burden is concentrated on "particularly rich sections of the population". The proposal of the board of directors provides that the money raised will be used to finance the modernization of schools and day nurseries. SPD tax expert Lothar Binding said that for a married couple with net assets of 4.2 million euros wealth tax would amount to 2000 euros per year or 166 euros a month. It is unjust, Binding said, "that one is rich without one's own contribution, just as it is unjust when one is poor through no fault of one's own." "Empires should participate in the community as much as their shoulders can carry." In the discussion, it's really not about money, argued Binding. Rather, it is about the "basic values" of the SPD: "Freedom, justice and solidarity." The wealth tax is a question of social justice, it says in the decision. From the point of view of the SPD "strong asset concentration" endangers social cohesion and economic dynamism. Binding tried to demonstrate how much the distribution of wealth in Germany is spread. One of the 45 richest households in Germany has as many as 440,000 other households, he predicted. "Who among you can think in these categories?", Binding called to the congress. Party leader Norbert Walter-Borjans also campaigned for property tax. This is "fair," he said. SPD hopes to billions in revenueThe property tax is no longer charged since a constitutional court ruling in the mid-90s. The highest judges in Karlsruhe at that time had not reprimanded the tax itself, but the different valuation of assets. Due to old market values, real estate was strongly favored over capital assets such as equities. In the 1990s, the property tax last flushed around 4.6 billion euros into the coffers of the federal states. This would correspond to SPD calculations according to current figures an amount of about nine billion euros annually. Since the abolition of the tax "the imbalance of the distribution of wealth has increased drastically," states the SPD in the adopted paper. Therefore, the tax should be reintroduced in a modified form. However, the party does not expect a quick implementation: It is clear "that the taxation of large fortunes can not be achieved in the short term and we will need a long breath," says the paper , The importance of other asset-related taxes such as land, inheritance, gift and real estate transfer tax in the opinion of the SPD in Germany is comparatively low. With a share of 1.0 percent, it is only about half the average burden in all industrialized countries.

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