GEORGE TOWN (Sept 13): Penang property owners have to be prepared to pay higher assessment rates next year as the state’s two local councils review the rates to counter increased expenditures.

All property owners will receive the notices on the increase this month, and they have up to October 14 to send in appeals against the new rates, reported the Malay Mail today.

“It has been 15 years since we reviewed the assessment rates and we are reviewing it now in accordance with the provisions of the law,” state local government, housing development and town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said in a press conference today,

He revealed that higher spending costs have led to an annual deficit budget since 2016 for the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).

Jagdeep refused to reveal the rate of the raise, but merely said it would depend on the property type, location and size.

However, Sin Chew Daily had earlier reported an expected hike of up to 30%.

A total of 322,549 properties on the island and 327,401 on the mainland will fall under the review.

The increase has been calculated to bring in an additional revenue of RM54,338,822 for MBPP and RM39,743,077.02 for MPSP next year, but Jagdeep said “the extra revenue will barely be able to cover the expenditure of both councils”.

“MBPP will be implementing 31 infrastructure projects between 2020 and 2022 at a cost of RM179.03 million so the extra RM54 million from the assessment rate increase does not cover this full sum,” he explained.

MPSP will also be carrying out 46 projects between 2020 and 2022, costing RM169.74 million.

Compared to 2005, MBPP’s and MPSP’s 2019 overall expenditures shot up by 291% (RM196.391 million) and 784% (RM107 million) respectively.

Jagdeep pointed out the state’s property assessment rates are still the lowest in Malaysia compared to Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and even Kota Kinabalu.

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