Building on the Unity Budget which was delivered in February this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced more property tax rebates, in the hopes of helping businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
These enhanced measures were announced by Heng in Parliament today (Mar. 26) as part of what is called the Resilience Budget.
These measures will hopefully alleviate businesses' cost and cashflow pressures amid what Heng called the "worst economic contraction since independence".
No property tax for qualifying commercial properties
Firstly, qualifying commercial properties that are badly hit by the Covid-19 outbreak will not need to pay property tax for the year 2020.
This includes hotels, serviced apartments, restaurants, shops, exhibition centres, sports and recreations buildings, cinemas, theatres, hospitals, clinics, schools, childcare centres, dormitories, and tourist attractions (except Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa which will receive a 60 per cent property tax rebate).
Businesses that operate in non-residential properties such as offices and business and science parks will have receive property tax rebates of 30 per cent.
Previously Heng announced that hotels, serviced apartments, and exhibition spaces will receive a 30 per cent rebate on their property tax while attractions, shops and restaurants would get a 15 per cent rebate.
More rental waivers for hawker centre stallholders
Heng also urged landlords to pass on the property rebates to tenants and help them ease their cost issues:
"Many businesses have pointed out that it will be a lose-lose situation if landlords do not support their tenants. After all, if tenants fail, the properties will be empty."
Leading by example, Heng said that the government will provide more rental waivers.
NEA will provide stallholders with a 3-month rental waiver, with a minimum waiver of S$200 per month. This is an increase from the 1-month rental waiver announced in the Unity Budget.
Other government agencies like the Housing and Development Board and National Arts Council will provide eligible tenants -- such as social service agencies and charities -- with a 2-month rental waiver.
This is an increase from the half-month rental waiver announced in the Unity Budget.
Lastly, Government agencies will provide all other non-residential tenants will receive a half-month rental waiver. These tenants include those who use lease the premises for industrial or agricultural purposes, or office use.
In total, the rental waivers for tenants in government-owned and managed non-residential facilities will cost about S$334 million.
Top image via Fullerton Hotel.