Assessment study welcomed but increment should be held off
Source: the Star Nov 30
Many local leaders in Selangor do not see the necessity to raise the assessment for properties in the state for 2014.
It was announced at the Selangor State Assembly yesterday that the state government would be increasing the assessment fee in the near future and was currently studying ways of implementation.
“It is a good exercise if the state wants to carry out revaluation but as a rule, assessment hikes should only be a last resort,” said Petaling Jaya City (MBPJ) councillor Derek Fernandez.
He said there were many other ways for a local government to bring in more revenue, through non-rate revenue such as billboard rental, licence fees and various other forms of rental charges.
Agreeing with him is Subang Jaya Municipal (MPSJ) councillor Chang Kim Loong who said assessment hikes were unnecessary at the moment.
“Local governments should see how much of non-collectible revenue they have at the moment and step up efforts on recuperating that rather than increase assessment fees,” he reasoned.
He said even if there was a raise, residential properties that were not renovated or were old should be exempted, especially those occupied by senior citizens and low- and middle-income groups.
Ara Damansara Residents Association (ADRA) committee representative Albert Lau said the state government would need to justify the increment.
“It can be accepted as long as it is justified and they do not slack in performing their duties,” he said.
He added that the raise should be reasonable and not a sudden shocking 200% hike.
PJS9 Rukun Tetangga deputy chairman Mohd Noor Ahmad said the assessment fee should not be raise as this would burden the people further.
Bandar Puteri 11 Residents Association chairman Alice Choo agreed, saying this was not the right time to raise the amount.
Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) councillor Loka Ng urged the state government to conduct a comprehensive study to see if the increase was truly necessary.
“Any suggestions from the state need to be relayed to the respective local councils to be discussed,” he said.
He said if there was an increase, there should be proper plans for the extra monies to go towards improving facilities and development.
“The councils must think about how to upgrade the services for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sepang Municipal Council (MPSp) councillor Santokh Singh Gurdev Singh said that a small increment would be reasonable because the assessment review was long overdue.
“To run a local council effectively, the council needs to generate income to provide good service to taxpayers,” he said.
“However, any increment should be studied in detail and not burden the public,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tropicana Petaling Jaya Residents Association president Jean Lip said local councils should look into improving their services first.
“There are still roads that are not repaired properly and many other issues,” she said.
“Most importantly, they should explain to the people the rationale behind the increment. It should not be drastic like what has happened in Kuala Lumpur,” she added.
Ahmad Fahmy Sallehudin, committee member of Jalan Adang Shah Alam Residents Association, said he would not mind paying extra if it was a reasonable sum.
“I think if they give a good justification, it is okay because the rates have not been reviewed for a long time but it must not be a big jump. I have stayed here for 10 years and paid the same amount for my assessment fee,” he said.
“The local councils should give us their assurance that they can improve their service so that we get what we are paying for,” he said.Share on Facebook