China will expand the water resource tax pilot program into nine additional provincial-level regions from December, to strengthen the government's management on water resource, preventing waste and pollution, as a measure to push high water-consuming industries to shift growth models, according to the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
New regions to join the pilot program are Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Besides, Hebei was the first province that started to levy tax on water resource since July 1, 2016, said a statement on the ministry's website.
The tax will be collected based on usage amount of both surface and underground water in these regions, and the tax income will belong to local governments, it said.
The statement also stressed that local governments will be authorized to set specific tax rates within certain ranges. Beijing, for example, will levy an average tax of 1.6 yuan per cubic meter as the lower limit for surface water and 4 yuan per cubic meter for underground water, which is the highest level among all the nine provincial-level regions.
The amount of tax to be paid for some special industries, including car-washing industry, golf course, and ski resort, will be set at a much higher level.