JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) will be beefing up enforcement to collect arrears in property tax amounting to more than RM49mil for over the past 20 years here.
Mayor Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamed Dewam said that the arrears in property tax, some of which dated back to 1990, were mostly commercial holdings.
“Although we have come up with interesting initiatives such as lucky draw sessions to attract taxpayers to settle their debts, we learn that some errant traders still refused to make the payments.
“We target to collect at least 50% of the arrears through 16 operations this year, as we believe that the traders will pay up to collect their seized items,” he told a press conference here on Tuesday.
Abdul Rahman said that the enforcement officers had been directed to confiscate items equivalent to the tax value of each case and the taxpayers would then be given 14 days to settle their debts and claim their goods before the items are auctioned off.
“So far we have successfully collected 10% of the overall arrears through four operations conducted since January this year,” he said adding that on the average, the council collects only 20% from the total yearly.
He stressed that MBJB decided to take such an approach not to burden taxpayers but to ensure that all of them settle their dues without exclusion and actions would be taken based on the stipulated regulations.
“The council would be focusing on clamping down those with arrears over two years around city centre and Tampoi here, as these two areas were identified with the highest outstanding tax.
“Those who have arrears in tax may also face difficulties in carrying out sales transactions once the council decides to caveat their property before proceeding with civil actions and auctioning of property,” he added.
Abdul Rahman also said those who have a huge amount of arrears could forward an appeal to the council to negotiate on possibilities to clear up their dues on instalment basis.