Tax-the-Rich Gambit Wins at Polls, Falters as Global Housing Fix

Aug. 16, 2021, 4:01 AM

As policymakers struggle to control an affordable housing crunch, officials in some of the world’s biggest cities have their sights set on a tactic: taxing the empty homes of the rich.

Los Angeles is planning to put a vacant homes tax on the ballot for 2022, in the face of a mounting homelessness crisis. Hong Kong officials are considering taxing condo developers to deter them from hoarding new units. Ireland is exploring its options. Barcelona has gone as far as threatening to seize landlords’ empty apartments — paying half of market value — and convert the units into affordable rentals. Paris ...

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