Jagdeep: Councils’ expenses up three to eight folds

Participants attending the briefing on adjustment of assessment rates at the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce building in Light Street, George Town.

THE expenditures of Penang’s local councils have increased by many folds over the years, more than justifying the increase in property valuations for assessment, said state local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

Jagdeep Singh said the increase in expenditures went up by nearly 300% from 2005 to 2015 on the island and a staggering 800% for the same period on the mainland.

“This is why we need an adjustment in the property valuation and assessment rates.

“The law states that it can be revised every five years, and we waited 15 years.

“Penang waited the longest to conduct the review and we are still the lowest-charging state.

“Even after the review, we are still the lowest, ” he said at a press conference during a briefing on adjustment of assessment rates at the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce building in Light Street.

Jagdeep Singh said the assessment is collected for the local authorities to provide services to the people.

“We need more money to plough it back to the people.

“The revised assessment will bring in revenues of RM54.39mil for Penang Island City Council and RM39.74mil for Seberang Prai City Council.

“This is still not enough for the projects we have planned, ” he said.

Jagdeep Singh said there are certain categories of residents who would pay lesser with the new rates.

“There will be reductions. We will always consider the people’s objections and if they are reasonable, we will make a decision appropriately.

“I am not saying it is for everyone, but certain categories will be entertained, ” he said.

Jagdeep Singh said the state is sensitive towards the B40 group and their assessment increases would be about RM10 a year.

“That works out to be less than RM1 per month, ” he said.

He said the state had seen an 8% annual increase in the value of all properties for the past 10 years.

“So, for 10 years it is nearly 100%, ” he said.

Ratepayers must submit their appeals or objections against the review of their property assessment values by Oct 14.

On Sept 12, Jagdeep Singh announced new assessment rates for 2020, as the present valuations had been in place since 2005.

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