Bills Committee on Revenue Bill 1999

Concerns raised by members at the meeting on 13 May 1999

Members requested the Administration the following -

Deferred payment of stamp duty for agreement for sale of residential property

  1. To provide justifications for requiring a corporate purchaser to submit a banker's undertaking for the purpose of applying for deferred payment of stamp duty for agreement for sale of residential property. Members are unconvinced of the need for imposing such a requirement in the absence of statistical evidence to show default of corporate purchasers on payment of stamp duty.

Adjustment of stamp duty rates

  1. To provide a breakdown by types of property of the revenue from stamp duty over the past three fiscal years. Members would wish to know whether the reduction in revenue from stamp duty is attributed to the falling prices of properties or the thinning of property transactions. Some members are concerned about the substantial increases in terms of percentage of the stamp duty rates for properties costing over $3 million.

Increase of on-street parking meter charges

  1. To provide further information, if any, on how an increase of parking meter charges would help achieve the objective of maintaining a 15% availability of on-street parking spaces. In the view of a member, the difficulties in finding on-street parking spaces are due to the fact that there is no restriction on the time vehicles may use on-street parking spaces.

Increase of tunnel tolls

  1. To provide information on expected annual revenue after the reversion of the ownership of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel to the Government.

  2. To comment on Hon Albert HO Chun-yan's proposed amendments to increase on-street parking meter charges and Cross-Harbour Tunnel tolls.

Increase of fixed penalty for smoky vehicles

  1. To provide an information paper to explain in detail the clean-up programme in respect of air pollution conducted by the Administration, including the timetable for implementing the various measures, the level of fine for smoky vehicles to be proposed by the Administration should the various measures fail to achieve the intended objectives, and the proposed timing for increasing the fine, etc.

  2. To further comment on Hon Christine LOH's proposed amendment to increase fixed penalty for smoky vehicles to $5,000 in the light of the clean-up programme launched by the Government.