The canton of Baselland wants to position itself better in the national tax competition. In a first step, the government would therefore like to lower the wealth tax rates for the well-heeled and increase the tax exemption limit. Baselland has become unattractive when it comes to the taxation of middle and high incomes and wealth in a national and international comparison, said the Baselbieter finance director Anton Lauber (CVP) on Wednesday, September 15, at a media conference in Liestal. They are also lagging behind the neighboring cantons of Basel-Stadt, Aargau and Solothurn.
As a first step, the canton now wants to position itself better in the national competition with wealth taxes. “We don’t want to be a second train, but we want to move away from the furthest seats,” said Lauber.
In order to become more attractive for wealthy people, the tax tariffs are to be made “milder”. Specifically, this means that the cantonal tax rate for assets of over CHF 350,000 is to be reduced from 4.4 to 3.3 per mille today. At the same time, the canton wants to increase the tax exemption limit for married couples from 150,000 to 180,000 francs and for singles from 75,000 to 90,000 francs.
The planned abolition of the special and complicated Basel bid tax values for securities, which valuate securities too low, points somewhat in the opposite direction. In many cases, this leads to a slight increase in taxable wealth, which is more than offset by the reduction in tax rates.
Tax breaks especially for the rich
The bottom line is that the tax reform would result in significant tax breaks, especially for the well-off. As a calculation example, the head of the Basel tax administration cited a family from the affluent municipality of Pfeffingen with taxable assets of almost 13 million francs. This would have to pay almost CHF 14,000 less wealth tax in the future.
The first tax reform stage would result in a loss of 27 million francs for the canton and 15 million francs for the municipalities. The government is now submitting the reform proposal for consultation. It wants to implement the first reform step as early as January 1, 2023.
With the new wealth taxes, the canton of Baselland could position itself nationally in the “lower middle field”, said Lauber. Specifically, roughly on the same level as the canton of Jura, now well ahead of the canton of Basel-Stadt, but still behind Aargau and Solothurn.
The reform proposal is now being discussed. And the canton already has further reform steps up its sleeve, for example with regard to income taxes. However, in order to be able to make specific suggestions here, the canton of Baselland still has to do its homework with the reassessment of the property values, which are far too low in a national comparison, and with the review of the imputed rental values requested by the Federal Supreme Court.
SP against tax reform
In a first statement, the Baselbieter SP speaks out clearly against tax reform proposals by the government. The party writes that a reform will be presented before the end of the Corona crisis that will cause recurring revenue shortfalls. Especially since it mainly benefits the top wealthy.
More on this on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. in Telebasel News.
In Telebasel Talk: Wednesday, September 15, 2021, from 6:45 p.m., Markus Brunner (SVP) and Roman Brunner (SP) discuss the government plans.