Private clubs to be hit with land premium charges - RTHK
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Private clubs to be hit with land premium charges

2019-02-25 HKT 12:45
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  • Private clubs to be hit with land premium charges
Frances Sit reports
The government says private sports clubs who lease their sites from the government will have to start paying substantial land premium fees from 2026 or 2027.

Most of the clubs' current leases with the government will expire during that period.

Speaking at a Legislative Council panel meeting on Monday, Home Affairs Secretary Lau Kong-wah said 24 clubs – for various sports and leisure pursuits – will be charged one-third of the full market value of each site when they sign new contracts.

He said the government will, when considering whether to renew the clubs' leases, also look at their governance and whether they are providing enough services to the public.

The announcement followed a six-month consultation conducted after years of complaints from the public that the government subsidises the rich with its generous deals for the clubs, with their facilities almost exclusively reserved for paying members.

The vast majority of submissions to the consultation, however, opposed charging the clubs land premium charges.

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan said he believes that the clubs could be charged lower fees if they agree to open up their facilities to members of the public for longer hours.