It is going to make a difference whether your property is commercial or residential titled...
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat has urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to intervene in the Kuala Lumpur mayor’s sudden move to raise assessment tax rates for houses in the country’s capital by over 100%, effective Jan 1, 2014.
Leaders of the opposition coalition claimed the “unnecessary” decision would only further burden urbanites as it coincided with the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) as well as various subsidy cuts.
“The previous mayor was able to increase the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) revenue for years without increasing assessment tax,” PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
“The move was not at all transparent; the new mayor (Ahmad Phesal Talib) did not tell us of the proposed increase during our dialogues together,” added the Lembah Pantai MP.
Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw said he had evidence the assessment tax of some homes had increased by almost 250%.
He noted that such a drastic hike would spell trouble for KL residents who are already grappling with the city’s high cost of living.
“We admit that from time to time, the rates should be reevaluated. But it should be reasonable and fair for all quarters,” said the DAP leader.
Tan said the increased tax would trigger a chain reaction, with rental prices surging as landowners struggled to offset the high assessment tax and quit rents.
“We hope the mayor and the Federal Territories Minister can relook the rates before they are implemented,” said Tan.
DAP deputy chairman and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai added that the tax rates imposed on the houses appeared arbitrary – he claimed houses identical in build, and residing on the same road, were slapped with rates that differed by over RM1,000.
Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib had reportedly said last month at the 2014 Budget dialogue that DBKL had received the mandate to review quit rent rates from Tengku Adnan Mansor.
“Whatever rates we will eventually adopt must be appropriate so that it does not burden the public, but the new rates must also be fair to DBKL because of the demands on us to spend on various projects and programmes,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the rates have remained the same since 1992.
Tengku Adnan: Rates not final
When met at the Parliament today, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor gave his assurance that the revised assessment rates notices mailed to homeowners were not final, and the people still had time to appeal to DBKL before its implementation takes place next year.
He said the government would evaluate cases for individuals who owned multiple properties, as they did not want to burden the rakyat.
“DBKL has informed me they have just sent out the new rates and had already received complaints. So we will discuss the issue.
“The City Hall will inform me of their findings and I will discuss with them the amount that should be increased.” said Tengku Adnan.
However, he said that an increase in the assessment rate was inevitable as it was unfair to both DBKL and landowners to sustain the current rates.
“We are raising the rates because the value of land in Kuala Lumpur is rising. Secondly, because of the surge in value, it is not fair to put a low assessment rate on the property because the owner will not be able to sell it at the right price.” said the Putrajaya MP.
He added that DBKL needed the funds to continue running its operations.