The Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL) signed an opinion- based report on the region’s regime of tax benefits for the reconstruction of old buildings, with the government including an “extra stamp tax” rebate in the regime.
Chairman of the Committee Chan Chak Mo reported the discussion to the media.
In total, there are six tax types: stamp tax for property transfer; extra stamp tax; special stamp tax; stamp tax for obtaining the second or subsequent properties; the stamp tax; and, fees for notary endorsements and registration.
The tax rebate can be requested for the reconstruction of buildings which aim to strengthen Macau’s social development and preservation of cultural heritage. It can also be applied for the reconstruction of buildings according to their original plan or to a plan approved by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), for the reconstruction of buildings that pose a risk to the public, and for the reconstruction of buildings which DSSOPT has approved for demolition.
Originally, the government only proposed rebates on five tax types, with the tax rebate on the “extra stamp tax” not included.
According to the regime, a real estate development company that has obtained an immovable property which is to be demolished can see the stamp tax waived.
In order to protect the benefits to the eventual property owners, the bill proposed that the developer should first pay the common stamp tax, the stamp tax for transferring properties, and the registration and notary fees.
These taxes can be refunded to the developer after the reconstruction project is completed. However, if the developer fails to complete the project, the tax for these three categories will not be refunded.
The regime further proposed a three-year ban on property sales. If the owner of a reconstructed building, or a building under reconstruction, sells the property within three years after the tax rebates were approved or after the reconstruction license was issued, the tax benefits will be deemed invalid.
During the meeting between the government and the lawmakers, one lawmaker declared that the city’s cultural heritage committee should play an important role in the demolition or reconstruction of cultural heritage. The lawmaker believes that the committee’s opinions should be binding regarding the reconstruction of buildings, as they worry that the cultural heritage committee’s functions are being impacted.
The government replied to the lawmakers by explaining that the reconstruction projects of the Municipal Affairs Bureau and the Marine and Water Bureau will be referred to as cultural heritage reconstruction.
The government did not take the lawmakers’ suggestion of listing the cultural heritage committee as one of the departments for consultation.