Listen to the CourtThe National Assembly and the government are moving too slowly to revise or abolish the comprehensive real estate tax, even after the Constitutional Court ruled that some parts of the tax are unconstitutional.
The decision by the Constitutional Court shouldn’t be interpreted in different ways for political gain; nor should it be held hostage to public sentiment.
Given the latest development in the National Assembly and the political parties, revising, or even abolishing, the tax law won’t be easy.
The clauses that the Constitutional Court found unconstitutional, or recommended to be revised, have not yet been changed.
It’s important to note that some clauses in the National Security Law that were deemed unconstitutional 16 years ago still remain unchanged.
Some politicians now argue that the clauses in question have no legal effect anyway.
So no matter which taxes are imposed based on the clauses, they are null and void.
They also said it will be fine as long as they revise the clauses that were recommended to be revised before the set deadline.
This posturing shows the little regard lawmakers have for the nation’s Constitution. They should feel ashamed that the tax law they helped create is now deemed unconstitutional.
The constitutional body that represents the nation’s public should set aside their political views and listen to the Constitutional Court.
Let’s remember how lawmakers reacted when the finance minister said he contacted the Constitutional Court before the court’s decision on the tax.
They tried to protect the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court by saying Kang Man-soo’s action had “tarnished the independence of the Constitutional Court,” and that it “reveals the government’s arrogance.”
Now that the court’s decisions have been revealed, it is clear what legislators have to do. They have to prove that there is no discrepancy between their actions and their words, and they have to show that they truly respect the Constitutional Court.
The public’s basic rights are likely to be subverted if laws that were deemed unconstitutional are left unchanged for so long.
The National Assembly and the government should act faster to revise the disputed tax law clauses in order to protect any other victims who may be out there.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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