MALACCA: Malacca will impose a 5% “heritage charge” on hotel guests from Sept 1.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the decision to impose the new tax on hotel rooms was reached at the weekly state executive council meeting yesterday. There are 193 hotels and resorts in the state.
The tax was crucial for the state to carry out its beautification programmes as well as to maintain cleanliness, conservation and promotion of heritage sites, he said.
“The state has no source of tax collection for the maintenance of heritage sites. The assessment tax and quit rent collected in the city are insufficient to upkeep these sites.
“Hence, it is necessary to make the heritage fee compulsory.
“The heritage charge will be based on the rental rates of hotels, resorts, chalets, apartments and other tourism facilities that provide lodging,” he said.
Mohd Ali said about RM12mil was expected to be collected annually.
Asked if the ruling would have a negative effect on tourism in the state, Mohd Ali claimed that it would offer better prospects for growth to the industry.
However, Malacca Budget Hotels Association chairman Hendon Putehbegged to differ, saying the total 21% charge was too high.
“Most of our members are already charging their guests the 6% government tax, with some charging another 10% service charge.
Hang Out Hotel manager and State Tourism Association committee member Tan Lee Lee also questioned the need to impose such a charge, especially after the Tourism Ministry had said that more than 70% of its allocation would be channelled to Malacca under the 10th Malaysia Plan.