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October 23, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Census bureau tries to calm fears over privacy

CITY statistics officials said yesterday that the latest round of the population census is unrelated to a possible revision of property taxes.

This is in response to speculation that the statistics will be used to see what must be paid when the tax is approved.

"What we try to find out about are the people and their living conditions, not the houses," said Zhu Zhanghai, deputy director of Shanghai Statistics Bureau, who is in charge of the sixth census in the city.

During recent trials before the census officially starts on November 1, research achieved poor results as some residents refused to answer questions or turned away census workers, saying they feared the information would be used to determine how much property tax they would have to pay.

Public concern has grown since the state, as well as the city government, announced measures to curb speculation in the property market.

The census will only cover the living space and the number of rooms, instead of how many properties people own, Zhu said. The age of the property and its facilities will also be included in the census.

Zhu explained that the questions in the census are focused on people's living conditions and not on whether the property is self-owned or rented. Empty properties will not be included in the census.


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