MALAYSIA - Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is in the midst of reviewing the quit rent rates for properties in the city and the new rates are expected to take effect on Jan 1, 2014.
Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said DBKL had received the mandate from Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to re-evaluate the rates.
He said the property value was going up and it was up to DBKL to decide on the rates, which would be dependent on the outcome of the review conducted by DBKL and the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) under the Finance Ministry.
"The rates have remained the same since 1992.
"However, this does not mean we will increase the rates. I urge everyone to just wait for the outcome of the review," he added.
Although evasive on the subject, the mayor said that if the actual property value was very high as compared to the present rates, it would not mean the tax would be in tandem with the increase but more likely only a slight jump.
"Whatever rates we will eventually adopt must be appropriate so that it does not burden the public, but the new rates must also be fair to DBKL because of the demands on us to spend on various projects and programmes," he said, giving assurance that the new rates would be practical and realistic.
It is estimated that the outcome of the rates review will affect over 500,000 property owners in the city. Quit rent is the highest income contributor to DBKL.
However, as the local government is striving to put Kuala Lumpur among the top 20 most-developed city in the world by 2020, DBKL has been investing and spending an ever-increasing amount of money annually to achieve that target.
DBKL is hoping an increase in quit rent will provide the extra revenue to pump into more projects to enhance services and infrastructure for the benefit of Kuala Lumpur folk.
Ahmad Phesal was speaking at the 2014 DBKL Budget dialogue attended by more than 600 people from various NGOs, associations, agencies and residents association.
After chairing the five-hour dialogue session held at DBKL's Training Institute in Bandar Tun Razak yesterday, he said the dialogue was very productive and DBKL would look into every input, remark and criticism to further improve its services.
"Most of the complaints seemed to be geared towards improving the living conditions in the city.
"We hope to allocate more funds in the 2014 DBKL budget for social programmes," he added.