State govt to reimburse local councils for loss of income due to lower assessment rates

Dr Sim replies reporters' queries at the DUN complex today (May 11, 2020).

KUCHING, May 11: The Sarawak government will offset all 26 local councils’ (PBT) loss of income stemming from the reduction in assessment rates from 2016 to 2019.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020 which was passed at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) this morning was thus, very timely.

“We are very grateful that the Bill was passed especially now with the current Covid-19 pandemic where the economy was badly hit, and at the same time, it also affects local councils’ income. Thus, the reimbursement can compensate for the loss of revenue.

“This loss of income from assessment rates on residential houses happened after former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem announced the reduction in 2016 involving all types of homes,” Sim said when met by the press at the DUN complex today.

He added that although assessment rates were reduced, all local councils continued to maintain services such as rubbish collection, landscaping and grass-cutting.

These services, he said, are important to maintain good public health, otherwise the rakyat will suffer from other illness.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced that under the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020, the state government had allocated an additional RM129.8 million in extra grants to 26 local authorities. — DayakDaily