By EDWARD RAJENDRA and SHALINI RAVINDRAN at the Selangor State Assembly.
COMMUNITIES in Selangor will see the future differently as the state government wants all local councils to be sustainable from the economic stance.
Selangor exco for Local Government, New Village Development and Legalising of Factories Ean Yong Hian Wah said it was time that the local councils rethink and re-engineer its revenue sources.
“With the current economic situation, all local councils must innovate and initiate new ventures to bring in new forms of earnings to provide better infrastructure, social investments and services,” he said.
Current sources of revenue at the local councils include property assessment taxes, fines, public parking fees, rent charges, advertising fees and licensing fees.
Ean Yong added that city councils, municipal councils and district councils can come up with new innovations to earn extra revenue without burdening the business sector or even the public.
In the state’s Budget tabled by Mentri Besar Azmin Ali last Friday, it was revealed that low-cost and village homeowners need not pay property assessment taxes for next year.
Petty traders, night market and pasar tani vendors were also exempted from licensing fees.
Azmin said the exemption of taxes would result in local councils earning RM41.7mil less.
State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment chairman Elizabeth Wong said local councils wanting to refurbish or rebuild tourism facilities must give very good reasons to the state for allocations.
“On the state’s side, we want the local councils to be sustainable and do it on their own,” she added.
Wong added that forest reserves in the state can be a sustainable factor of the ecology.
“Our parks and forest reserves, if managed properly, can be used as a natural catch basin for storm water runoff, to mitigate floods as well as air pollution.
“All this contributes towards economic development initiatives, to create a habitat for flora and fauna,” she said.
Wong added that as local councils rethink ideas for sustainable revenue earners, it needs to move one step ahead to maximise the planning and development methods.
State exco for Plantation Workers, Poverty and Caring Government V. Ganabatirau said such initiatives will make the councils more independent and less reliant on funding by the state government.
“Civil servants at the council or state level who possess innovative business models that can earn revenue or save time on a process, will be allowed to work on it,” he said.