NON-PROFIT varsity Southern University College (Southern UC) is facing two major problems – a big spike in assessment tax and delay in obtaining permit for its new building.
Its chairman Datuk Vincent Tan said prior to 2018, Southern UC was given a discount on the tax by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB).
The council cancelled the discount in 2018.
“The institution’s assessment tax used to be between RM50,000 and RM60,000, then it went up to RM200,000.
“Without the tax rebate, this puts a lot on the institution as we offer courses at an affordable price to give more students the opportunity to pursue their tertiary studies,” he said.
He said the matter was raised with Johor Mentri Besar’s adviser Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and the latter arranged for the university college’s management to meet with Johor Baru mayor Datuk Mohd Noorazam Osman.
Tan thanked Tee for giving them a platform to discuss the matter with the mayor, where they highlighted the need for support from all parties to sustain and provide affordable education for all.
Meanwhile, Tee said prior to 2018, Southern UC received an annual tax rebate of 90% to reduce its burden on running the institution.
“That was during the Barisan Nasional administration.
“In 2018 when Pakatan Harapan took over the government, the tax rebate was struck off and the college was reclassified and put under the commercial category.
“The high tax rates were overwhelming for the institution and its management went to various channels to voice out against the matter but to no avail.
“Lastly, they came to me for assistance and I immediately arranged for them to meet with the mayor to address the issue,” he said.
He added that he would discuss with Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad to allow Southern UC to enjoy a tax rebate and be reclassified as an educational institution to prevent high taxes.
Tee, who is also Pontian MCA division chief, noted that the tax rebate given under the previous Barisan administration was because the coalition strongly supported Southern UC’s efforts, which made it one of the best choices for those furthering their studies.
On the matter of Southern UC’s new building permit, he said Noorazam has agreed to find a solution to the matter by January.
He thanked the mayor for his quick response, thereby improving the council’s efficiency.
“The government will continue assisting Southern UC, a community-established education institution that the people have worked so hard to establish,” Tee added.