Daily Express, Photo Credit to Daily Express
clock 17-12-2019
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Up to 53pc Discounts for Labuan Assessment Rates

Property owners here can breathe a sigh of relief as Labuan Corporation (LC) will be reducing the percentage of assessment rates for properties across the island accordingly beginning next year.

LC CEO, Dr Fary Akmal Osman, said the drastic hike in assessment rates was due to the steep increase in the annual market (rental) values of properties, which were last revised 25 years ago in 1994.

“Since the market value has gone up significantly over the years, the assessment will increase too if we were to use the current assessment rate. 

“Therefore, to balance out the increase, LC will be providing discounts of up to 53 per cent (depending on the location of the property) of the assessment rates,” she said.

She said the new assessment rates which have been reduced by an average of 50 per cent at all locations will be able to bring the total assessment charges back down despite the hike in the property value.

“The revision of the assessment rates through this method will be beneficial to property owners as they will only experience a slight difference in their total assessment and they will have higher property value with the new valuation,” she explained.

Dr Fary, who revealed the new rates to reporters in a press conference here Friday, said the current rate for housing estates in villages is 4.25 per cent. However, the new discounted rate will only be 2 per cent (a 53 per cent decrease).

For commercial and industrial lots in the town area, it will be decreased from 7.5 per cent to 4.25 per cent, while housing estates (town area) will drop from 6.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

For commercial and industrial properties in the suburbs, it will drop from 6.5 per cent to 3.8 per cent while housing estates (suburbs) will decrease from 5.1 per cent to 2.5 per cent. The rates from heavy industries will drop from 14.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent.

Dr Fary said the new rates would be fixed as such beginning 2020. However, property owners can still object but only against the annual market value of their property. 

“If property owners are unsatisfied, they can object to the increase in the annual market value of their property.

“Thus far, we have received a total of 1,200 objections and we will consider each and every request,” she said.

She called on all property owners to submit their objections by Dec 17, as all appeals will go through a committee beginning January till March.

“Payment of the assessment for the first half of the year is only due in June, therefore, we hope to finalise all appeals by March,” she said.

Dr Fary added that the revision, which comes under Section 137(3) of the Local Government Act 1976, provides for the local authority to come up with the revised assessments every five years.

She revealed that there would be few isolated cases where some owners will still face a high increase but this is due to the fact that the property had undergone renovations and the timeframe involved.

“There will be certain cases where the property has gone through renovations recently, which will bring up market value significantly.

“Therefore, despite our discount in the rates, they will experience a greater increase in the total charges compared to other property owners. The highest increase we recorded was 34.5 per cent for a house.

“However, these home owners can submit their objections and our committee will consider it accordingly,” she said.

Dr Fary also disclosed that there will be no penalty fees imposed for delayed payments next year in order to ease the transition process for the people.

“We hope the revision will benefit and ease the burden of the people especially property owners,” she said.

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