Building tax from April 1
By James Kon

All commercial buildings and apartment owners of the newly expanded areas in the jurisdiction of the BSB Municipal Board will have to start paying building tax when the Act comes into force on April 1, 2009 under Section 12 of Chapter 57 in the Municipal Board Act.

Haji Mansor bin Haji Mohammad Yassin, Acting Chairman of BSB Municipal Board, announced this yesterday.

A notice will be sent to owners on the new building tax and any appeal on the notice can be made before the extended deadline of March 21. Building owners have been urged to forward the written appeal as soon as possible to the Chairman of the BSB Municipal Board for further consideration.

Building owners are welcome to visit the Evaluation and Building Tax unit at the first floor of the BSB Municipal Department in Jln Kumbang Pasang during office hours for inquiries.

Under the Municipal Board Act, Chapter 57, the BSB Municipal Board has been mandated to collect building tax. The building tax already exists in some areas of the BSB Municipal Board.

The newly expanded area of the BSB Municipal Board as of August 1, 2007 covers 10,036.24 hectares.

Dyg Hjh Rasidah binti Hj Ghani, Municipal Officer and Head of Evaluation and Building Tax, in another statement said that the new commercial areas that would be affected include Kampong Menglait 1 and 2, Kampong Mata-Mata, Beribi Industrial Area, Pengkalan Gadong 1 and 2, Kampong Kiarong, Kampong Telanai, Kampong Bunut, Tasek Meradun, Kampong Subok, Kampong Belimbing, Kg Kiulap, Kampong Kianggeh, Kampong Berangan, along the road of Muara until Manggis and along the road of Kota Batu until Kg Pelambayan. All the buildings in the commercial areas have been evaluated from February.

She explained that the percentage of tax levied will not be more than 12 per cent, depending on the availability of eight facilities that are provided by His Majesty's Government namely: water services (two per cent), police presence (one per cent), Fire and Rescue presence (one per cent), provision of entrance roads (two per cent), provision of street lighting (two per cent), garbage collection services (one per cent), sewage system (two per cent) and cleaning services (one per cent).

The rate of tax for the buildings comes from guidelines prepared by the Assessment Sub-Committee. The annual gross value is needed to calculate the rate of tax levied on a building. To obtain the annual gross value, two methods will be used depending on the use of the building or unit.

The first method is for rented buildings based on the annual rental rate. In the second method, if the owners are using the building themselves, the annual gross value will be calculated based on the floor area multiplied by the value per square metre and multiplied by 12 months.

To better calculate the value, the BSB Municipal Board has also divided the areas into two zones, namely central city and outside the central city but still remains in the city.

Those who do not comply with the payment of the building tax will first be issued with a notice. The Municipal Board will issue three reminder letters, as well as a final reminder, before the matter is brought forward to the Attorney General's Chamber for further action, should these notifications elicit no response. - Borneo Bulletin (3rd Mar 2009)