The Public Revenue Regime in Hong Kong: Land & Housing

International Tax Law Research Centre
Wuhan University
Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP)

The Public Revenue Regime in Hong Kong: Land & Housing

13 April 2023

Powerpoint is available HERE.

One can reasonably claim that Hong Kong is a remarkable tax policy museum. For a First World jurisdiction, it has an unusually limited range of taxes – there is no prescribed, general Sales Tax nor any formal Capital Gains Tax, for example. Yet one can also argue that has been a centre of revenue policy innovation. The innovation, above all, has pivoted on successfully accessing non-usual sources of public revenue (especially land-related revenues). The result is that tax reform has been kept to a minimum. Hong Kong thus retains a Revenue Regime (RR) which is (formally) low tax, clearly simple (with low compliance costs) and it has generated revenues sufficient to build excellent infrastructure, to provide often first-rate government services, to enable Hong Kong to stay virtually debt free and to amass huge fiscal reserves. This presentation will explain the origins and development of this exceptional RR. It will also examine the closely related development of Hong Kong’s massive public housing system.

About the Speaker:
Professor Richard Cullen completed his LLB at Melbourne University Law School in 1982 and his Doctorate at Osgoode Hall Law School, in Canada, in 1986. He joined the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong as a Visiting Professor in August, 2006, where he is now an Adjunct Professor. He was previously a Professor at Monash University in Australia. He has spent almost 30 years based in Hong Kong teaching and writing on Hong Kong and China, including some years based in the School of Law at the City University of Hong Kong. He has written and co-written a number of books and more than 300 articles, notes and comments focussed on Public Law, Tax Law, Media Law and Current Affairs. His article, “Land Revenue and the Chinese Dream” was originally published in Chinese in (2014) (July & August) China Policy Review (CPR), 33 & 43. This work was judged by the CPR as one of the Top 20 Economic Essays of 2014.

Chair: Professor Xiaojing Cui, Director of Wuhan University International Tax Law Research Centre

Enquiries: Flora Leung at