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Tax me lower please. I am the one living here.

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This is still a hot topic in Penang; Quit Rent. Earlier article here: 15 years no increase. Now it increases in Penang Anyway, money as a topic, especially if one has to part with theirs will always be a sticky point. Giving to charity is usually seen as different from paying taxes. Recently, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that all high-rise owners have until May 2020 to settle their dues without any late penalties. I am okay with this. Will be settling mine very soon. Click here for that article.

However, it seems that this is a separate matter altogether because an NGO has proposed to the Penang authorities to consider the purpose for the property in the assessments. In other words, I think they agree that there should be an adjustment but that the assessment for properties which are for commercial purpose should be higher.

Article in edgeprop.my here. Citizen Awareness Chant Group (CHANT) legal adviser Yan Lee said that the the Penang authorities should look at the calculation of council fees in developed countries. He said, “Ideally, owner-occupied properties should be charged less. The same goes for those who are disabled or in the B40 (low-income) group.”

He also explained that commercial properties such as restaurants should be charged more as they generate more rubbish that has to be cleared by local councils and involve services such as regular health inspections. He added, “The chief minister has said the increase will be RM10 to RM30, but it is still a significant increase for some.”

State assemblyman for Machang Bubok Lee Khai Loon proposed that the state government should consider exempting low and middle-income families from Penang’s from the hike. He said, “The hike should be directed at those with bungalows and expensive estates, those living in high-end homes.” For the full article please read it in the Article in edgeprop.my here.

Frankly speaking, RM10 to RM30 increase is not high. However, some owners who own quite a number of units may feel the pinch. As for the B40 households for example, any increase in amount is likely to be considered a burden. CHANT has a valid proposal though. Commercial properties by virtue of it using more of the council’s services should pay a little higher than owner occupied units.

As for the review in assessment rates, I do hope that the council should refrain from doing nothing for the next 15 years and suddenly introduce another big increase yeah. RM10 every 5 years will definitely be more palatable than RM30 at one go. Let’s see if the Penang state government will listen to CHANT’s proposal. It will benefit many but a decision should be made as soon as possible. Else, the owners may not want to pay yet until the deadline looms… Malaysians…

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