KUCHING: Sarawak local authorities, in cooperation with the state, need to devise a fair formula to determine the rateable value of properties for the purpose of fixing assessment rates.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said a fair formula was necessary to avoid disputes and misunderstandings between local authorities and property owners.
At present, he said, properties in the state were undervalued because the annual rateable value, as defined by the State Local Authorities Ordinance, had not been revised over the past 40 years.
Local authorities have to devise a scheme to raise revenue that property owners find affordable to pay, and will suffice to meet the councils operating and administrative costs, he said when opening a two-day seminar on market value of landed properties here recently.
He said the state was committed to developing a fair and equitable rating system that would enable local authorities to derive sufficient revenue by not depending solely on subsidies and have adequate resources to provide services and facilities for people to enjoy a good quality of life and a healthy environment.
Earlier, State Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk Michael Manyin said there was an urgent call either to review the current rental value rating system adopted in 1965 or introduce a completely new system of collecting assessment rates to improve the financial position of local authorities. Bernama