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Appraisal prices of commercial and residential land — a basis for calculating the next fiscal year’s property taxes — are an average of 5.9 percent lower than those for this year, according to the Home Affairs Ministry. Based on the new evaluation, it is now expected that the nation’s residential property tax revenues in fiscal 2000 will amount to some 3.3 trillion yen, a fall of some 10 billion yen, or 0.3 percent, compared with the estimated property tax revenues for the current fiscal year. This would be the first time the nation’s residential property tax revenues fell since the current evaluation system was introduced in fiscal 1950. According to the ministry, the total value of appraisal land prices nationwide came to 840.06 trillion yen. Of the 47 prefectures, 38 witnessed drops in their land prices, with Chiba Prefecture suffering the largest decline, at 10.6 percent. Falls were also high in Saitama and Osaka prefectures. Of the nine prefectures that saw higher evaluation prices, Akita posted the biggest rise, at 3.2 percent. The appraisal prices sank for about 80 percent of land, as opposed to rises for the remaining 20 percent, the ministry said.

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