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Government Finances, Economic Statistics
Ida Balle Rohde
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Real property taxes

The census has been conducted since 1937, but changes in municipal and county compositions makes comparisons over time difficult. However, in its current form the statistics is comparable from 2007 and onwards. The taxation systems differ widely across countries, which makes the international comparison difficult based on national sources because of concept and calculation differences. The statistics is the basis for determining the property taxes in government finance statistics.

Comparability - geographical

The taxation systems differ widely across countries, which makes the comparison difficult based on national sources because of concept and calculation differences. The main purpose of national statistics is normally not to accommodate international comparison, but to accommodate each country own information setup and traditions.

The taxation in Denmark differs widely from all other European as well as OECD countries. Danish taxes on wealth and property make up 4 percent of total taxation, while this type of taxation has a far greater significance in, e.g., the US, the UK and Canada. In these countries, the share of total taxation is as high as 10-14 percent. Wealth and property taxes in countries such as Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway account for a particularly moderate share of total taxation.

Comparability over time

The municipalities have always levied real property taxes. However, before 2006, the tax was divided between the municipalities and countries, because both government institutions could levy taxes. The taxes are comparable across time, but changes to the municipality structure must be acknowledged.

The statistics was published for the first time in 1937 and until 1969 was the statistics where based upon each rural municipality. Since then, two municipality reforms have changed the structure of municipalities, countries, and regions. The first municipality reform occurred in 1970 contributed to the structure change such that ca. 1300 rural municipalities was combined to 277 municipalities and 14 countries. Since 1975 and up to 2002 there had been no changes in the classification of municipalities and counties. In 2003, the county of Bornholm and its municipalities were united to a regional municipality like Frederiksberg and Copenhagen. Bornholm, Frederiksberg, and Copenhagen handled county affairs as well as municipality affairs. In 2006, the municipalities of Marstal and Ærøskøbing were united to the municipality of Ærø.

In 2007, a new municipality reform came into force. Many municipalities were combined, and some municipalities were divided between several new municipalities. This meant that there are now 98 municipalities compared to the prior 270. The countries were closed down and 5 regions took over instead. The regions are, unlike the prior counties, not able to levy taxes. This means that the citizen will pay property taxes the municipality whereas before the reform the citizen paid property taxes to both country and municipality.

The basis for reimbursement duties have also changed since 1937. At the beginning, the reimbursement duty for public properties was based on land value. In 1960, reimbursement duty for private properties was also introduced. Opposite to the previous duty for public properties, the duty for private properties was based on buildings only. The building value is the difference between the property value and the land valuation, thus an expression for the actual value of the buildings. Reimbursement duty based on building value was likewise introduced for public properties in 1972.

The three types of reimbursement duties have been valid until 2022, where the basis for the reimbursement duties again was changed. The new system consists of two types of duties, where one applies for public property and the other applies for private property. Both types are calculated based on land value. The new duty for public properties is a summation of the two previous duties applied to public properties.

Coherence - cross domain

The statistics is a part of quarterly and annually government finances for general government. Quarterly government finances use a combination of budgetary and the actually imposed taxes, whereas the annual government finances only use the actually imposed taxes as the data source for determining property taxes in a given year.

Coherence - internal

Not relevant for these statistics.