JOHOR BARU: Johor has instructed all its 16 local councils to stop charging the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for its services to the public.
Johor Housing and Local Government exco Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi said the state government had absorbed the GST charges two weeks after the new tax scheme was enforced on April 1.
He said that from the state government's calculations, about RM3mil (S$1.1 million) in GST would be collected by all local councils yearly.
The local council charged GST on services including rent, parking, processing fees and changing titles.
"The state government will absorb the GST and reimburse the Customs Department instead of passing it to the rakyat," he said after officiating the Johor Baru Central Municipal Council (MPJBT) 14th anniversary celebration at Hutan Bandar Mutiara Rini here yesterday.
Two days ago, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskandar had directed the state government and local councils to request an exemption for GST on public services.
He said it was not logical to impose the tax on public services as it was the duty of the state government and local councils to provide free services for tax payers.
Abdul Latiff said the state government had a meeting with all local councils on this following numerous complaints from the public.
In a recent exco meeting, he said the state government had also directed all local councils to return the GST amount collected within the first two weeks of last month.
He said he had brought up the matter with Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan during a recent Umno meeting with the prime minister in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
"Johor is asking the Government to give GST exemption to our local councils and he (Abdul Rahman) assured me that the matter will be brought up during the Cabinet meeting," he said.