15 years no increase. Now it increases. Assessment rate in Penang.

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I received an assessment from the MBPP for a condominium in Penang recently. The amount is up by slightly over 30% versus previously. The assessment showed a new calculation. Perhaps it’s time since I have been paying the same amount for many years. Then when I read the news, I realised that the city council shared that the rate of assessment has remained unchanged for 15 years. I did not know that.

As my property is just a high-rise, I think the amount is still manageable. Nearly a thousand ringgit per year. RM979.62 to be exact. However, I understand why many Penangites are agitated. Some may own many units and some may own landed ones where the assessment is going to be higher for example. Here’s one recent news on this issue.

Article in malaymail.com In a briefing, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Valuation Department director Cheong Chee Hong and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) Valuation Department director Mat Nasir Hassan briefed the ratepayers on the calculations for the new annual value of properties and showed them ways to submit their appeals.

Penang Ratepayers Association pro-tem committee chairman Lee Kim Noor said “We can’t find fault in how they calculate the annual value and the rates but this is simply the wrong timing to conduct the review and increase the annual value of properties now.” She acknowledged that the council has not increased rates for 15 years BUT, “We can see so many new apartments and condominiums in these 15 years so surely the number of properties to collect assessment rates have increased and the city councils’ revenue have increased.”

Some ratepayers claimed that the increase was over 70 percent from the previous years. Housing, local government and town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said that more than 70 per cent of those in low cost and low medium cost properties will only see between RM5 and RM10 increase per year which translated to about 40 cents to 80 cents per month. All ratepayers have until October 14 to submit their appeals to their respective city council against the assessment rate review. For full article please refer here:Article in malaymail.com

First of all, I think the council should increase the rates because 15 years was mentioned and that was how long the rates were not increased. I do not agree with the suggestion that since there are now more high-rise units, thus the council is getting more revenue and thus the rates should not be revised.

However, I think the council could have done a better job of implementing it. Earlier information, earlier briefings and perhaps a staggered approach may work slightly better. By the way, when it comes to money, there’s no best way yeah. In this case, just need an objective assessment for all parties. Focus on the assessment rates and focus on the services which the council is providing. Else, it will be a never ending debate about to increase or not to increase. Happy understanding.

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