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Evaluating the new property tax law.

Summary: The Minister of Finance, Momtaz el-Saeed, held a series of meetings with officials of the Property Tax Authority to look into the implementation of the new property tax law and its amendments. This law came in response to calls from NGOs, federations of industrial, tourism and commercial chambers and business societies.

BY Amina Abdul Salam According to Tarek Farag head of Property Tax Authority, the Minister issued instructions to assesss the law as early as July or next January in a trial run. He added that the tax in question wouldn't be collected yet, but after evaluating the situation, there would be an appeal period before the property tax law was actually implemented.

According to Al-Gomhuria daily newspaper, the tax authority is an executive body. It has already completed the assessment procedure in a number of governorates and towns.

The Government will decide on which date the law will be implemented.

Farag asserted that the law wouldn't be retrospective and some amendments had been added, such as allocating 25 per cent of property tax revenues to the development of shanty towns. These amendments would be submitted to the People's Assembly (the Lower House of Parliament) for approval. Farag mentioned that a number of meetings were held with officials of the Industrial Chambers Union to identify the criteria for the assessment of manufacturing companies.

Farag noted that a co-operation protocol was signed by the Property Tax Authority and its counterpart in Lithuania and the Netherlands in view of benefiting from their vast experience in property value assessment. He added that the Authority formed committees to conduct assessments of factories and tourism establishments, and that the owners had co-operated eagerly by providing all necessary data.

Farag noted that the implementation of the new law would not only provide the treasury with much-needed resources, but also lead to more discipline in the property market. He stressed that the Property Tax Authority and the Survey Authority needed to create a database to collect all available information on properties and their value.

Farag noted that the new property law had many advantages compared to the old one. It would tax luxurious housing units such as villas on the North Coast, Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, New Cairo, 6th October and Sheikh Zayed. They didn't pay any taxes, while properties in highly populated areas already did.

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Publication:The Egyptian Gazette (Cairo, Egypt)
Date:Jun 20, 2012
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