Lebanon Businessnews News

Seaside properties to pay higher fees
Significant revenues anticipated from
new annual fees on coastal facilities
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Beach resorts, hotels, and other private facilities situated along the coast will be paying higher taxes to the government. Earlier today (August 8), the Cabinet approved a long-awaited decree that imposes higher annual fees on all seaside properties.

The adopted decree is an amendment to two previous decrees issued in 1963 and in 1992.

The Minister of Transportation and Public Works, Ghazi Aridi said that the Cabinet adopted the decree submitted by the ministry with a few amendments recommended by the Ministry of Finance.

Since 1992 these fees have not changed despite the rise in real estate prices. “The new rates vary from one region to another,” said Aridi.

Public maritime properties include the coastal area from the sea up to the farthest point reached by waves in winter. Any occupancy of public maritime property requires a license from the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works. According to Aridi, all coastal properties are subject to annual fees, even those that are unlicensed: “They all have to pay, but those operating without a license are legally unprotected. The State can remove (illegal) properties anytime without further notice and with no compensation.”

The new tax is expected to bring in some $600 million in additional revenues.
Resorts, private fishing ports, and industrial settlements occupy more than 20 percent of the 250km-long coastline. A study released by the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works in 2009 said some 1,200 units were built along the coast without permission from 1975 to 1990. Only 64 facilities have obtained licenses.

A draft law on the regularization of maritime property violations has been in Parliament since 2006.

Reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Aug 08, 2012
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