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China Moves To Protect Farmland With Higher Taxes

To stem the loss of farmland to development, the Chinese government is raising taxes on non-farmed arable land by 500%.

"China is set to quintuple tax on the use of arable land for non-farming purposes and charge foreign invested companies as much as their domestic peers in a bid to protect farm land and better control land supply, according to an ordinance released by the State Council on Thursday.

Signed by Premier Wen Jiabao, the instrument took effect as of December 1 and replaced the 1987 edition which had allowed foreign-invested companies to be exempt from the land use tax.

Sources with the State Administration of Taxation said that the toughened requirements would give taxation a bigger leverage in protecting the country's land for cultivation, which had shrunk 4.6 million mu from the end of last year to 1.827 billion mu, only slightly higher than the danger mark of 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares) set by the government to feed its people."

Full Story: China quintuples arable land use tax

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