Labuan Corp to proceed with new assessment rate with discounts up to 53 pct

LABUAN, Labuan Corporation (LC) will proceed with its plan to impose new annual assessment rate on properties with a discount of between 6.90 per cent and 53 per cent of the property valuation, beginning Jan 1, 2020.

The new assessment is based on the new valuation on properties under Section 137 (3) of the Local Government Act 1976, which provides local authorities to prepare a ‘list of assessment’ every five years.

Properties (houses) in the water village and villages (not in the residential areas) are imposed the lowest rate at only 0.35 per cent compared with 0.50 per cent currently, while properties in the heavy industrial zones like Rancha-Rancha and Sg Keling will be charged 13.50 per cent from 14.50 per cent at present.

Properties in the town area, commercial and industrial zones will be charged a new assessment of 4.25 per cent from 7.50 per cent before.

LC chief executive officer Dr Fary Akmal Osman said the residential properties in village areas would be charged 2.0 per cent compared with 4.25 per cent while the rate for residential properties in the town area was set at 3.25 per cent.

We have no choice but to go ahead with the new assessment which is in accordance with the local government actthat empowers Labuan Corporation to conduct valuation and collect property tax rate (assessment rate).

However, after taking into consideration the need to balance between compulsory property valuation every five years and the people’s grievances, we will still proceed with it but with discounts, she said at a press conference at Wisma Perbadanan Labuan here today.

Fary Akmal said the Labuan assessment had not been reviewed for the last 25 years since 1994, and this resulted in the slow movement in the properties’ value.

We are certain the new valuation on properties will reflect the current properties market valueand the new assessment imposed next year is following the new valuation on properties, she said.

The new property valuation had been gazetted on Nov 1, 2019 and a Notice on New Assessment List 2020 (issued by LC) was circulated widely on the island on October 21, sparking confusion and objections among the business community, especially those with a number of high-value properties, and property owners such as home owners in the housing estates.

A total of 16,500 properties on the island are subject to the assessment.

Fary Akmal disclosed that despite the open objection launched soon after the circulation of the notice and public engagement, only some 1,200 forms of objection were received to date (closing date Dec 17).

Nevertheless, we, in the committee will be assessing all the objection forms for a period of three months from January until March next year on the basis of each objection and if there is a need for reassessment for the properties, we will do so, she said.

Properties in Paragon Labuan and Labuan Times Square, which are located in the town area, are discounted at 23 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, while Saguking warehouse is reduced to 27 per cent and Lazenda Warehouse to 43 per cent.

The rate for Lazenda Commercial Centre (town centre) has been revised upward to 11 per cent, Court Light Industrial Park rose to eight per cent and the Taman Tanjung Aru new housing area is up to seven per cent.

We have decided to waive the late payment penalty of RM20 for any property owners who could settle their dues anytime next year, she said.

She added the authority had only received RM13 million from the annual assessment and it expected an additional RM1 million following the new assessment next year.

The amount is unable to cover the total expenditure of RM24 million for us to carry out various tasks like maintenance works and others, she said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)