Golf courses ‘are not country estates’

One in four golf courses in the Netherlands is wrongly benefiting from tax breaks on country estates and nature, one MP has claimed.

D66 parliamentarian Stientje van Veldhoven says the regulations need to be overhauled to ensure only real nature qualifies for help in maintaining the Dutch countryside.

The rules governing country estates date back to 1928 and are supposed to help maintain estates and their classic gardens. According to the official paperwork, 5,000 country estates fall under the legislation, but the Netherlands only has 1,200 castles and country houses, the MP says.

Not only golf courses, but hotels, restaurants and congress centres are claiming tax breaks on their land, she says. ‘This is unfair competition… and would appear to be an abuse of the rules,’ Van Veldhoven said.

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