The government plans to roll out floor space incentives and property tax breaks to encourage urban renewal, Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) said yesterday, following reports that the Executive Yuan was mulling granting life-long tax benefits to property owners who participate in urban renewal projects.
To encourage wider participation in urban renewal, the ministry plans to raise floor area ratios, the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the plot of land on which it is built, Yeh said at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee.
Depending on the size of the land to be developed, homeowners participating in urban renewal projects could be entitled to preferential floor area ratios, he said.
A site smaller than 500m2 could be redeveloped at its original floor area ratio, while a site between 500m2 and 1,000m2 could be redeveloped at 115 percent of its original ratio and a site larger than 1,000m2 could be redeveloped to 130 percent of its original ratio, Yeh said.
In addition to the floor space incentives, the Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday proposed preferential housing and land taxes for homeowners participating in urban renewal projects.
Participants in urban renewal projects who do not sell their new properties are entitled to a 50 percent reduction in housing and land taxes for two years after the completion of the project.
The ministry proposed extending the preferential tax rates indefinitely, allowing participants to enjoy the tax breaks until they sell the properties.
Under the proposal, buyers of the new properties would not be eligible for the tax breaks.
The incentives are aimed at encouraging homeowners to rebuild aging structures, especially those that are more than 30 years old, into safer ones with better earthquake resistance and public facilities, Yeh said.
“[The incentives] would mean homeowners could afford to live in a new home,” he added.
There are about 140,000 buildings nationwide that are 30 years old or older, housing more than 1 million households, with about 50,000 in dire need of repairs and reinforcement, as they might not be able to withstand a strong earthquake, the ministry said, adding that about 10,000 are in Taipei and New Taipei City.
The preferential tax rates and floor space incentives have yet to be finalized, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
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