chowGEORGETOWN, Dec 27 – The planned levy on all hotel rooms in Penang will only be imposed after March 2014, says Chow Kon Yeow, chairman of Penang’s Local Government and Traffic Management Committee.

The decision to postpone the imposition of the levy was taken after the Penang Chapter of Malaysia Association of Hotels submitted a request for a deference on the date of implementation.

Citing that Malacca has imposed the same type of tax on hotel rooms since 2011, Chow added that Penang “expects to receive a few million ringgit from the levy.”

The state plans to use the funds collected from the tax to further develop Penang’s tourism industry and to boost funding for the state’s culture, art, and heritage.

The decision to impose a levy of between RM1 and RM5 for per room per night on all hotel rooms in the state was announced in November by the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng while tabling the state’s 2014 budget.

Chow announced that the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) and Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) have been given authority to collect the taxes.

“Under Section 107 (1) of the Local Government Act, a local authority in the granting of any licence or permit may prescribe the fees for such licence or permit and the charges for the inspection or supervision of any trade, occupation or premises in respect of which the licence is granted,” he explained.

Hoteliers will be informed by MPPP and MPSP of the starting date of the imposition of the tax, he said.

However, it is unknown whether the tax will be passed on to guests or be borne by hoteliers.

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