Municipal tax breaks for BSB businesses
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
FEEDBACK from the business community regarding the rates of taxation by the Municipal Department that levy taxes on property owners was highlighted by Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin yesterday at the fifth State Legislative Council (LegCo) session.
Pehin Dato Goh, a prominent businessman and LegCo member, stressed that the business community is disputing services provided by the Municipal Department.
The five services provided by the department listed are street lighting, access roads and sewage systems, which carry a tax of two percent each, as well as rubbish collection and cleaning services, that carry a further one per cent each.
Pehin Dato Goh pointed out that street lighting and access roads are services provided by the government for public use. Meanwhile, the other three services in most cases have already been put in place by businesses or managed by them.
"All the above five services, they refuse to pay because they do not need the services," he said.
In reponse to the feedback, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof suggested that those levied with municipal taxes should sit down and discuss the issue with the Municipal Department to identify tax exemptions.
"In identifying the rates payable, it is the responsibility of (property) owners to highlight to the authorities the services that they may have in place or that they themselves provide," said the minister.
Pehin Dato Hj Adanan added that this issue has been noted after landowners had raised the points in order to be exempted from the taxation rates.
"If, for example they provide their own cleaning service, they can discuss it with the Municipal Department," said the minister.
"What is crucial here is that the information be provided to the relevant authorities so they can be exempted from the services, after being reviewed and examined by those who determine the taxable rates," he said.
The minister wants the business community to understand that they can approach and discuss this issue with the Municipal Department. "Even if they feel the assessment (carried out on the property) is too high, they can discuss this," he said.
The Brunei Times