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Sunday, 27 December 2020

No real estate tax exemption for industry, but maybe a rate cut

Factories will not be getting the real estate tax exemption they have been vying for, but could instead see a significant reduction in their property tax dues under a new draft bill the finance and trade and industry ministries have drafted, the local press reports, citing unnamed government sources. The bill, which would see factories pay real estate taxes equivalent to “service fees,” will be on the incoming House of Representatives’ agenda in its first session next year, the sources say.

Industry has been calling for real estate tax relief since the beginning of the year when the Investors Union urged the government to abolish the tax for factories. This came a week after cabinet green-lit amendments — later signed into law in May — that exempt unused land from being taxed and give the cabinet the power to issue exemptions for some buildings.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait had said last month that a complete exemption was unlikely seeing as real estate tax is already falling short of generating sufficient state revenue, despite a statement by the Trade Ministry in September saying it was working on proposals that would exempt factories from real estate tax.

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