393.1163/724: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

438. Reference last paragraph Embassy’s despatch number 600, July 24.49 The Consulate General at Shanghai in a despatch dated August 28 transmits a news item to the effect that the Nanking Municipal Government will begin on October 1 next the collection of land value taxes on property at Nanking; the collection of such taxes is considered to be the natural step following upon the current re-registration of title deeds. No official notice has been received by the Consulate General regarding the tax. Gauss50 observes that the land value taxable [tax?] is apparently being paid at Shanghai by American and British owners of land in Chinese administered areas, by the former as a “voluntary contribution”, but apparently is not being paid by the Japanese. He states:

“I have no particular objection to the rates of proposed land value taxes as reported to have been adopted for Nanking, or as authorized by the land law (section 4); but when we shall have submitted to ‘land value’ taxes, we will next be confronted with the ‘increased value’ land taxes (as distinguished from the land tax) as provided for in article 305 of the land law”.

The instructions of the Department are requested with regard to the policy to be adopted as to the land value tax.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Clarence E. Gauss, Consul General at Shanghai.