THE Minister of Economy and Fin-ance has fixed the exchange rate for payment of property tax this year at 4000 riel to the dollar, according to a prakas obtained yesterday.
“We have issued this prakas to co-ordinate and make it easier for the Cambodian people to pay property tax,” ministry Secretary of State Ngy Tayi said.
Yesterday, one dollar traded for 4088 riel in Phnom Penh.
The property tax will be levied at 0.1 per cent of a property’s value, provided the property is worth more than 100 million riel, or US$25,000.
Ngy Tayi said this year’s property-tax collection eff-orts, the Kingdom’s first, would assist with establishing a culture of tax collect-ion in Cambodia.
“It is our duty to pay the tax,” he said.
“If we have less, we pay less than if we have much.
“We want to establish a property tax culture and morality, allowing us to collect tax directly in the future.”
Ngi Tayi played down concerns that the property tax revenues could be misappropriated.
“We will be transparent for the Cambodian people.
“We will use the national income generated from the property tax to develop the villages, communes and districts,” he said.
National Valuers’ Association of Cambodia president Sung Bonna said the move to use the riel in collecting taxes would reinforce its use in Cambodia, similar to the decision to require Cambodia Securities Exchange listings in riel.
“I think the purpose of the government is to reinforce the local currency,” he said.
Cambodia Property Limited managing director Cheng Kheng said he hoped revenue generated from the property tax would allow infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and hospitals to be built.
Neighbouring countries were collecting property taxes, and the time had come for Cambodia, he said.
“I think that it’s time to begin collecting property tax, but we want the government to be transparent.”
The collection of Cambodia’s property tax will begin in the capital’s eight districts and 26 other cities next month.