Little in the short term, but possibly a lot further out. A property tax could hurt lower-income buyers, which wouldn’t do much to narrow the wealth gap. But it also may spur some wealthy landlords to sell some hoarded properties that often sit empty as investments. Such a tax may help local governments break their reliance on selling land to developers. But even it were implemented nationally, property tax revenue may only reach a fifth of the $1 trillion land sales bring in annually, according to ANZ Corp. economist Betty Wang. Nevertheless, the trial sends a strong message that China is determined to break the mentality that housing is a “one-way bet,” which drives the market higher. Jia Kang, the former head of a finance ministry research institute and long-time property tax advocate, wrote on social media about what he called the “yawning gap” in homeownership, with some people hoarding hundreds of units and others unable to buy a basic home. The property tax trials will provide feedback, like “gnawing at a hard bone,” he wrote, for eventual legislation on a wider or even national scale.