GEORGE TOWN, Oct 17 — Around 14 per cent of affected assessment ratepayers submitted objections to proposed increases for next year by the state’s two city council, said Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said a combined 89,762 objections were sent to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) from the 639,102 registered premise owners in the state.
MBPP received 54,239 objections or 16.82 per cent of 322,549 premise owners in its jurisdiction while the MBSP got 35,523 or 11.22 per cent of 316,553 premise owners under its care.
“Special committees to evaluate the objections received will be formed in both city councils to hold hearing sessions with ratepayers,” he said in a press conference at Komtar today.
He said objection hearings will be held at three different locations on the island and four locations on the mainland.
These will be at the City Hall, Level four in Komtar and Balik Pulau market complex on the island.
The sessions on the mainland will be held at Dewan Dato’ Haji Ahmad Badawi, MBSP Bertam Sports Complex, MBSP Branch in Jalan Betek and Jawi Multipurpose Hall.
“All ratepayers who submitted objections will be called to present their objections to the committee during the hearing that is scheduled to start on October 29 and expected to complete by March next year,” he said.
Among the reasons cited for the objections include financial and economic hardships, excessive increases, and excessive property valuations.
Jagdeep said since the objection hearings will only be completed in March, the first assessment bill for next year that will be issued in January will use the current rates.
“Ratepayers can pay the current rates for the first bill but after the conclusion of the hearings, the second bill will reflect the new rates,” he said.
He explained that the new rates will also be applicable for the first bill so any arrears due to the differences after the implementation of the new rates will be billed in the second bill.