OVER 600,000 ratepayers in Penang will receive a rebate on assessment rate this year.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said ratepayers would only have to pay their previous assessment rate for the year.
“The state decided not to collect the increase in assessment from ratepayers this year.
“This was in consideration of the economic difficulties currently faced by citizens and after the hearing sessions conducted with the ratepayers.
“We went through 175 public hearing sessions on the island and mainland, with 25,066 ratepayers attending out of 95,125 who objected to the increase.
“Considering the 25,066 ratepayers who attended, that is about 3.86% of the total ratepayers.
“In the whole of Penang, we have 649,950 ratepayers and 14.64% had objected, ” he said in a speech aired over Facebook yesterday.
Jagdeep said during the hearing sessions, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) heard many reasons from the objectors.
The reasons included economic implications due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sudden increase of the assessment tax, economic instability, individuals who are not working or retired, unsatisfactory service from the councils, being single parents and individuals with disabilities.
“MBPP was supposed to receive an additional RM54mil from the increased assessment this year, while MBSP would have received an additional RM39.7mil.
“But both local councils agreed to reduce the proposed increases for 281,949 out of 322,549 ratepayers on the island and for all 327,401 ratepayers on the mainland.
“This means both councils would only receive RM19.5mil and RM27.8mil respectively.
“That would total up to RM47.3mil to be received by both councils through the assessment rate collection.
“Now that we are giving a further rebate on top of the assessment review, this means both councils will not be collecting the RM47.3mil from over 600,000 ratepayers.
“This is to alleviate the burden of the people.”
Jagdeep also said 3,103 hawkers operating in licensed eateries would be given a one-off payment of RM500 each.
“This one-off payment is for hawkers who did not apply for a licence but are operating under a licensed food outlet.
“This would amount to RM1.55mil, given by the state to these hawkers under the Penang government’s second Covid-19 economic stimulus package.
“Some RM4.38mil will also be channelled to aid 5,666 registered and ‘tagged’ hawkers in Penang, ” he added.
Jagdeep said the state government’s second Covid-19 economic stimulus package at RM76mil would bring the amount of financial aid provided by the state to a total of RM151mil, with its initial stimulus package launched earlier with an allocation of RM75mil.
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