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East Japan city lets 'hometown tax' donors experience driving Porsches

The Porsche Experience Center Tokyo is seen in the city of Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, in this photo provided by the facility.

KISARAZU, Chiba -- This east Japan city added Porsche driving experience programs to a list of return gifts as part of the "hometown tax" scheme on June 1, which accepts donations to any municipality in the country in exchange for tax breaks and return gifts.

    Those who make a donation to Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, can drive one of the latest models at the "Porsche Experience Center Tokyo," which opened in the city in November 2021. This return gift is the same as a 90-minute driving experience program usually offered at the facility. Donors can drive one of the German luxury cars around a 2.1-kilometer track while receiving advice from an instructor in the assistant driver's seat.

    There are four grades of cars depending on the donation amount -- 170,000 yen (about $1,300), 210,000 yen (roughly $1,600), 260,000 yen (approx. $2,000) or 350,000 yen (about $2,600). Donations can be made at (in Japanese).

    Kisarazu received a total of 180 million yen (roughly $1.3 million) in donations in fiscal 2019 after it suffered serious damage from a typhoon, but the amount declined to 95.4 million yen (approx. $720,000) the following year.

    Meanwhile, the neighboring city of Sodegaura has recently added tickets for a rock festival hosted by popular band Kishidan to return gifts under the hometown tax scheme. The festival will be held at the city's Sodegaura Sea-Side Park between Sept. 17 and 19. A one-day pass will be given to those who donated 48,000 yen (about $360) to the city. Donations are accepted until Aug. 31 at (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Shigeharu Asami, Kisarazu Local Bureau)

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