Singapore – The country’s leading real estate brand, ERA Realty Network, has commented on the property tax rebates in the 2020 Budget Statement.
In Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 18) Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced special support packages for those directly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Enterprises in the tourism, aviation, retail, food services and point-to-point transport services sectors would receive support such as property tax rebates.
For example, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be providing a full month of rental waiver for stallholders in NEA-managed establishments. Meanwhile, other Government agencies like the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will offer a half-month rental waiver to its commercial tenants.
“I strongly urge landlords to pass this on to their tenants by reducing rentals,” Mr Heng had said.
Speaking to The Independent Singapore, ERA shared some insights regarding the possible challenges the property tax rebates would create. It noted that there might be some issues in the property tax rebate computation and implementation.
“We understand the landlords of these private commercial properties may be currently looking at how to pass on the savings from the 15 per cent property tax rebate to their tenants,” said Mr Eugene Lim, Key Executive Officer of ERA Singapore.
Given the decrease in sales due to the coronavirus outbreak, tenants are “looking to have a discount or a rebate on their respective rents,” said Mr Lim. “However, what is the amount?”
Furthermore, there has been no information on the implementation of the rebates.
“Whether (or not) the tenants receive any discounts or rebates will remain to be seen as it is not compulsory but rather the Government is giving these property tax rebates in good faith that the savings in property holding costs will eventually be passed on to tenants in the spirit of the ‘Unity Budget’,” added Mr Lim. /TISG