Saturday, November 16, 2013

MPs appalled over plan to increase KL assessment fees, residents complain

THE assessment re-evaluation by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has got property owners upset over discrepancies in the proposed rates. Kuala Lumpur MPs have been besieged with complaints from their constituents who have been told about an increase of 100% to 200% in the original assessment.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said a resident in his constituency highlighted the difference in the valuation of his property between the Stamp Office and DBKL.
“When we buy or sell a property, we pay stamp duty so the Stamping Office will have a record of this year’s and last year’s valuation. A resident in Kampung Kasipillay discovered the valuation by DBKL and the Stamping Office does not tally,” he said.
According to Lim, the difference is “rather significant” and the mark up is more than 100%. Lim plans to request for a property valuation for terrace houses in Kampung Kasipillay to determine their true value. He said residents from many housing estates were planning to campaign against the hike.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun said both residential and commercial units in his area were affected. “The rate of 6% for residential and 12% for commercial units is too high. Houses in old neighbourhoods such as Taman Seputeh and Taman Maluri would have cost around RM70,000 only 20 to 30 years ago. “Most of the residents are government servants and pensioners who cannot pay so much.
“The hike will also lead to an increase in rental rates,” said Fong, adding that he received complaints from a four-storey shoplot near Sungai Besi which now has to pay RM180,000 a year in rental compared to less than RM100,000 before.
Echoing his sentiments was Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai who said an increase of 200% was unreasonable. He said residents of low-cost link houses in Bukit Desa, Cheras faced an increase of 267%, while the rate hike for an empty shoplot in Tepian Loke Yew would be by 236%.
“Private housing owners in PPR Pudu Ulu are facing an increase of 192%. Property owners will not be able to absorb the new assessment rates and the burden will fall on tenants, whether residential or commercial.
“We would like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to intervene and put the review on hold,” Tan added.
Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong said a review should be done every few years instead of such a steep increase after 21 years. The announcement comes at a time when talk is rife that Tenaga Nasional Berhad is also planning to increase the electricity tariff. “Sugar and petrol prices have also gone up and the poor are suffering,’’ he said, adding that the increase should be reviewed and feedback obtained from all stakeholders.

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