Looking to recoup revenue

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 25 Jun 2020

Rubbish collection is an essential service and will not be affected by MBSA’s plan to cut expenditure. — Filepic

SHAH Alam City Council (MBSA) has formed a Revenue Collection Task Force in a bid to recoup lost income during the movement control order (MCO).

Headed by deputy mayor Mohd Rashidi Ruslan, the new task force will look for ways to collect money owed to the city council and also find avenues to generate new income.

Since the MCO started on March 18, MBSA has seen an average 25% drop in revenue compared to the same period last year.

“There is no denying that we are affected as we have been unable to collect a lot of fees during this period.

“Also there are many people who have not paid their assessment,” said Shah Alam mayor Datuk Haris Kasim after chairing the monthly full board meeting yesterday.

He added that the assessment tax of 75,000 account holders, which was due in February, amounting to RM148mil, was still outstanding.

“We also could not levy the late fee charges of RM20 because the state exempted it due to the MCO,” he said, adding that the city council could have received an extra RM1.5mil from the late charges.

Among other charges that were not collected were rental fees, parking fees and compounds.

MBSA also had to return fees taken from Ramadan bazaar traders for stall bookings, after the bazaars were prohibited from opening during the MCO.

To cope with the loss of revenue, all 24 departments in MBSA will be expected to reduce their expenditure by up to 24% or as much as possible.

“We cannot have a blanket reduction for all because there are some departments, such as the engineering department, that need to carry out essential projects and services.

“So we have to study all the expenditure incurred by the council as a whole and break it down to essential and non-essential spending.

“Essential spending includes salary, rubbish collection and cleaning while examples of non-essential items are events like gotong royong or car-free day,” he said.

Haris urged residents to pay their assessment fees on time, adding that MBSA launched a campaign to encourage prompt payment.

Called the “Pay and Win” campaign, account holders with no outstanding arrears, who pay by Aug 31, can qualify for a lucky draw to win prizes worth up to RM48,300.

He said three winners would walk away with the grand prize, a Yamaha Y15ZR 150cc motorcycle, while 55 others would take home electronic prizes.

“We are also finding ways to collect new income like charging assessment fees on billboard or telco towers, for example.

“This is already in the by-laws but we just did not implement it previously.

“Also the task force can find other ways to generate revenue like renting out empty city council-owned land,” he added.

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