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  1. Wealth
June 22, 2009

Guardian: Swiss canton offers exclusive land to rich

By Spear's

The plans of a Swiss canton to attract the super-rich by offering them the chance to buy property in exclusive, previously out of bounds locations has sparked a political row and accusations that the country is encouraging apartheid of the rich and poor.

The plans of a Swiss canton to attract the super-rich by offering them the chance to buy property in exclusive, previously out of bounds locations has sparked a political row and accusations that the country is encouraging apartheid of the rich and poor.

The canton of Obwalden is planning to launch “special living zones” for millionaires in an attempt to boost its tax take by luring the wealthiest residents. Like other cantons in the tax haven, Obwalden finds itself short of revenue because it has been competing with other jurisdictions to see who can offer the lowest rate of tax.

The result has been a drastic shortfall in tax revenues as people set up PO box companies to take advantage of the low rates, while contributing nothing to the local economies because they live elsewhere.

Obwalden’s answer is to lift construction bans on land reserved for agricultural use, offering the rich the chance to secure property on protected land, with the promise of spectacular views of lake and alpine landscapes.

To read the full article, visit guardian.co.uk

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