Monday, November 25, 2013

Kepong factory value up 886% in DBKL assessment revision exercise

"DBKL's property revaluation exercise is a mess."
DAP Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said this when revealing that a factory owner in his constituency received two property re-valuation notices, with the value raised by a whopping 886% in one notice and 540% in the other. The property was originally valued at RM9,000 and now from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has come out with two different valuation - RM79,800 and RM48,600. Both notices were issued on Nov 18 and the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is unsure as to how much assessment he should pay.
When Lim brought the case to DBKL's attention, officials said it is merely a 'proposed value" and asked the owner to submit his complains if he disagreed.
"So many irregularities have arisen from this re-valuation exercise. Houses on the same row are given different value, the methodology of re-valuation is unclear, owners getting conflicting notices.
"And DBKL can't even afford to hire a professional valuer to do the job! This proposal should be withdrawn altogether, " said Lim.
After the recent meeting among KL MPs, city mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Sri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, city dwellers were told that the new valuations were determined by DBKL officers posing as potential tenant enquiring for rental rates, sales advertisement and input from real estate agents.
Lim has set up a booth to help residents fill up their complaint letter to DBKL, protesting against the assessment hike they deem "unreasonable". He collected over 500 letters within a few hours. The 1976 Local Government Act stipulates that DBKL must conduct an inquiry for each objection submitted to it.
"DBKL said that it has issued 507,800 notices, even if only half of the recipients object, which is about 250,000 people, is City Hall even capable to look into every case?
"Until and unless our country has reached high income nation status, there shouldn't be any increase in tax rate, not even a single sen. We want rates to remain statue quo"
He said that under the same legislation, assessment tax is capped at 35%.
"Although the federal territories minister said that assessment on residential areas will remain at 6%, commercial buildings at 12%, who knows if he will keep to his words?
"After all, the law allows them to collect as high as 35%. "
Moreover, the power to determine assessment rates is vested in the mayor and not the minister, Lim said,
"so how come Tengku Adnan is telling everyone that 'I will decide'? "
Lim also slammed DBKL for behaving in a "hush-hush" manner and keeping people in the dark on the decision making process.
Meanwhile, Taman Bukit Maluri Residents Association chairperson Ng Kok Piew said the new value determined by DBKL for single and double storey terrace houses in the housing estate located in Kepong were higher by 119% and 97% respectively. For one double- storey corner unit, the valuation has skyrocketed to 424% of its original value.
"This is way too much, we urge the residents to pick up a copy of complaint letter from their nearby guard house and send them to DBKL without further delay," said Ng.
Meanwhile, Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also received scores of forms bearing signatures of residents in his constituency who are protesting the assessment rate hike. Speaking to the constituents, Abdul Khalid said people should not be subjected to more than 10% increase  in their assessment rates for the next five years. He said most people do not intend to rent or sell their houses, so the revaluation does not benefit them. Khalid, who is also menteri besar of Selangor, said he will try to advise the KL mayor based on his experiences in governing the state. "Inflation is not an excuse for assessment hike. If it is dependent on inflation rate, our country's Consumer Price Index which is around 3%... in 10 years should be 30%, not 300% like what DBKL have suggested."  
Abdul Khalid said DBKL's governance is weak because it did not conduct sessions to clarify the matter and disclose the revaluation method.
"The fact they don't take into account how the hike will burden the people and simply justify it with 'outdated rates' is not right.
"I will make sure the mayor channels tax revenue to improve lives of the people of Kuala Lumpur. I urge everyone to protest and demand for better services from DBKL." 

Related news: Confusion over proposed hike in assessment rate

DAP lawmaker raps City Hall for conflicting rate hike notices

Get professionals in, MP tells City Hall over growing assessment rate storm

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