According to the statistics of the Ministry of the Interior, there are currently about 8.63 million houses in Taiwan. Among them, there are about 4.1 million houses built over 30 years, approximately accounting for one-half of the total houses. Therefore, there is an urgent need for urban renewal. At the same time, in order to revise the provisions of the Urban Renewal Act declared unconstitutional by the Justices of Constitution Court of Judicial Yuan in its Interpretation No. 709, the whole new 88 amendments of Urban Renewal Act (“the new Act”) are promulgated by the President and take effect on January 30, 2019. Provided as below is a summary of the important amendments of the new Act:
A. To increase the motivation of urban renewal:
1. The building bulk incentive is clearly quantifiable, and the central government uniformly sets most part of bulk incentive, including the items, quotas, and calculation formula of the building bulk, and the local government reserve some power of building bulk incentive in order to reflect local circumstances (Articles 65 and 66). According to the daft of “Regulations re Building Bulk Incentive of Urban Renewal” proposed by the Ministry of the Interior, the highest building bulk incentive will be up to 30%.
2. The tax incentives are also increased (Articles 67-71). The competent authority may reduce the house tax to 50% for two years and extend the incentive period for up to twelve years. The land value increment tax for the joint construction agreement is reduced by 40%.
3. The financing restrictions for financial institute is relaxed (Article 72). The competent authority may establish the fund of urban renewal (Article 31).
B. To strengthen the protection of civil right:
1. The new Act strengthens the connection with the urban plan to avoid the doubt of enclosure from the society. The new Act strengthens the transparency and publicity of information and the holding of public hearings and hearings. In response to the Interpretation No. 709 of the Justices of Constitution Court of Judicial Yuan, Article 32 stipulates that public hearing should be held to hear the public opinions during the establishment or revision of the urban renewal business plan. The hearing shall be held to protect the hearing rights of affected parties when involving the rights transformation plan or demolition (Articles 22, 33-34, 49).
2. The new Act also strengthens the review procedure of the urban renewal (Articles 15-23, 29, 32, 50, and 53). The business summary, business plan, the rights transformation plan of urban renewal shall be reviewed by the committee. The affected parties may file administrative appeal against the decision of the review committee.
3. The new Act adds the negotiation measures (Article 57). The negotiation measures are established to coordinate the negotiation procedure, date, relocation and other matters regarding the removal or demolition. The local government has the authority to conduct the removal or demolition upon the request by the implementer.
C. The implement of urban renewal business and the rights transformation:
1. In response to the Interpretation No. 709 of the Justices of Constitution Court of Judicial Yuan, Article 22 stipulates that the application for the urban renewal business summary shall be agreed by more than 50% of the owners and the total land/floor areas should also exceed 50% and shall be reviewed and approved by the review committee, while the percentage prescribed in the past provision is only 10%.
2. According to Article 50 of the new Act, the value of rights transformation shall be evaluated by at least three expertise appraisers appointed by the implementer. The expertise appraiser shall be jointly appointed by the implementer and landowners. If the joint appointment could not be conducted, one expertise appraiser will be assigned by the implementer and the other two expertise appraisers will be publicly and randomly selected from the expertise appraiser list suggested by the competent authority.