Saudi Shura Council endorses undeveloped land tax
An initial proposal by the Kingdom's Cabinet suggesting limiting the tax to $26.67 per sqm, but this was later rejected by the Shura Council
Saudi Arabia's Shura Council has endorsed a tax on undeveloped land in the country.
The Shura Council advises the Kingdom's government on legislative issues.
It is hoped the land tax will encourage development and solve the country's housing crisis.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Ruler of Saudi Arabia, is expected to receive the legislation this week for approval.
An implementation date will be set by the Cabinet thereafter.
The tax will be imposed as a percentage of the land's value.
An initial proposal by the Cabinet recommended a $26.67 (SAR100) per sqm cap on the fees, but the Shura Council reportedly rejected this proposal.
A substantial degree of urban land in the Kingdom is owned by wealthy individuals or companies which hold the asset as "a store of value", according to Reuters.
The land tax is expected to spur building activity in a bid to reduce such inactive land areas.