Karak council implements tax incentives to revive abandoned old town

Karak council implements tax incentives to revive abandoned old town
(Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — The Karak Municipal Council has taken decisive action to tackle the issue of the emptying old city of Karak, aiming to halt the migration of residents and the decline of commercial activities. اضافة اعلان

Earlier this year, the council announced a new policy stating that individuals who reoccupy old houses and shops in the city will be exempted from licensing fees, a local media outlet reported.

Halting the migration trend
The migration of both people and businesses from the old city of Karak has been a growing concern for many activists and community members.

In response, the council recently introduced a package of measures to exempt homes, establishments, and shops from financial fees for the next five years. The hope is that these initiatives will put an end to the migration trend and revive the city's once-thriving atmosphere.

Public meeting and subsequent decisions
In early 2023, the Karak Municipality organized a public meeting to discuss the issue of the "emptying city". The gathering was attended by local business owners, community leaders, and activists engaged in public work. However, the meeting did not yield any immediate solutions to address the problem.

To further tackle the issue, the Karak Municipal Council recently issued a series of crucial decisions. These include the exemption of all commercial activities within the city of Karak from roofing tax fees, waste fees, and professional licenses for a duration of five years, starting from the beginning of 2024.

Additionally, the council will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all buildings within the old city boundaries and exempt tourism activities from waste fees, occupational licenses, and roofing fees for the next five years.

Promoting investment and revitalization
Furthermore, the council is providing incentives for individuals who invest in the maintenance of old heritage buildings and utilize them for tourism-related activities such as inns, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bazaars, and heritage antiques.

Those engaging in these endeavors will be exempted from roofing fees, waste fees, and professional license fees for a duration of five years.

Looking ahead, the council plans to address the Cabinet in Amman to request soft loans for establishing commercial, tourism, and other activities within the city of Karak.

Approximately 500 shops impacted
According to sources within the Karak Municipality, the recent decisions by the council will affect around 500 shops operating in various sectors.

These shops contribute significantly to the city's economic landscape, with an estimated minimum annual value of JD50,000.

In recent years, numerous shops have shuttered their doors in the old city neighborhoods and relocated to newer areas.

This trend has been accompanied by the departure of hundreds of families who have abandoned their old homes.

The decline of the once-thriving old Karak is a matter of great concern for locals, who recall its previous status as the center of commercial activity and vibrant life.

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