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Westhill Consulting British Colombia, Hong Kong, Jakarta, USA: Jakarta weighs new land and property tax formula

Indonesian president Joko Widodo's administration is sending mixed signals to the public about new tax regulations on property, as it aims to fill state coffers and introduce populist policies at the same time.

In a bid to meet a revenue target of 1.5 quadrillion rupiah (UScopy14 billion) this year, the government plans to introduce various measures, including revised property tax regulations.

The finance ministry says that starting from April it will adopt a new formula to collect luxury goods tax on landed houses or apartment.

"The formula will be based on [property] value, not on its size. Surely, the value will be more than one billion rupiah," Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said last Monday.

The current luxury tax on property transactions is imposed on purchases of landed houses bigger than 350 square metres and apartments of more than 150 square metres.

Bambang said that determining "luxury" based on property size was not always accurate. For example, he said, a 150-square-metre apartment might be seen as luxurious in one location but not in another.

The government also plans to lower the property price limit when imposing 5% income tax on property transactions, to 2 billion rupiah (about 5 million baht) from the previous limit of 10 billion for houses of more than 500 square metres and apartments of more than 400 square metres.

But Anton Sitorus, head of research at the real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Indonesia disagrees with the new proposed formula.

"This new regulation is aimed at boosting revenue from property tax. But a luxury tax on property should be regulated by size first, not based on its value," Sitorus said.

"Luxury tax and income tax are two very different things, but they've been mixed up in this proposed formula."

While Indonesia does not exempt a first house from tax, a central bank regulation makes it easier for people to acquire a first home by allowing a 20% down payment, compared with the normal requirement atleast of 30%.

But even as the finance ministry is preparing the public for new taxes, there is confusion about how united the government is behind the idea. Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, the minister of agrarian and land reform, in January called for a populist policy to scrap the taxable value of property, property transfer fees and the annual land and building tax in a bid to ease taxpayer's burdens. He said he would propose the idea to the finance ministry.

The taxable value of property, also known as NJOP, is normally used to determine the value of land but it doesn't always reflect in a property transaction since the actual transaction value could be lower or higher depending on whether the land is strategically plotted or not, despite being situated in a prime location.

To replace the NJOP as a determining factor for valuing land, Ferry said his ministry proposed a new system called land value zoning. He said it would be based on more concrete variables and spatial planning concepts and would set the land value higher if it was situated with good access to public facilities and infrastructure.

Ferry said he expected the initial phase of the new property tax regulation would be imposed by 2016 and would first exempt houses below 200 square metres, places of worship and other buildings used for social purposes. It would still collect property transfer fees and annual land and building tax on land and buildings used for commercial purposes and houses larger than 200 square metres.

Ferry's proposal has met with opposition from regional governments. The central government in 2011 gave them the authority to collect land and building tax, and they fear that his plan would reduce their revenues.

Who we are | Westhills - Our-story


Description: Our-story

The Westhills lands encompass 209 hectares
(517 acres) of rolling sloped lands, knolls, and rocky outcroppings and are
located in the City of Langford. Originally comprised of two large parcels, the
properties were held for decades by two local families. In 2006, the owners of
the westernmost lands formed the Westhills Land Corporation (WLC) to develop
the site. Westhills subsequently acquired the second parcel, which was already
zoned for residential development and a lakeside pub.



By adapting these
strategies to meet the unique requirements of the Westhills site, the
developers have created a warm and welcoming community that honor’s their
foundation principles of sustainability, affordability, design excellence and
quality construction.


Due in large part to
the vision of Langford Mayor Stewart Young and Council, the Westhills Master
Plan was arrived at through a design charette process involving a variety of
stakeholders and consultants. These included The US Green Building Council, the
Canada Green Building Council, the BC Ministry of Community Services and the
Design Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Through
this planning process the City of Langford has been able to form a cohesive
partnership with the owner of Westhills Land Corporation, with a commitment to
excellence in environmental design.

The resulting
Westhills Master Plan embodies their goal of creating a unique, large-scale
master-planned community based on principals of social and environmental sustainability.
Major guiding factors of the design and implementation of Westhills are:
considerations of location, alternative transportation modes, environmental
preservation, community agriculture, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere,
materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. These
characteristics are demonstrated in the creation of approximately 6000 new
residential units, with supporting commercial, civic and educational
facilities. Approximately 84 hectares (208 acres) is designated as park and
open space (equivalent to 40% of the total land area).
The Westhills vision
includes buildings that will accommodate both live and work spaces, a village Centre,
neighbourhood retail service centres, an internal commuter bus service, and a
commuter rail station. High quality public spaces, mixed uses, cultural and
educational facilities and residences will provide for a community available to
all ages and various income levels.

Westhill Consulting British Colombia Day Celebration

The Westhills BC Day Celebration has passed us by and what a celebration it was! With well over 3, 500 people attend and at one point over 800 children on the field playing and running about, we welcomed a number of musical talents to the Westhills stage over the course of several hours.

The well-organized event brought out friends and family, as well as neighbours throughout Westhills and the surrounding community, to listen to live and local musicians, while the kids had a safe, fun place to play. It was a fantastic atmosphere as everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

This particular event has identified support from the local community for an alternative venue and opportunity for live music, right here in Langford! Clearly, from the number of families that attended this year’s event, it was an appreciated convenience to have a family-friendly, FREE event that was close to home for those that live in the West Shore.

In reflecting on the day, this event could not have taken place without the support of the City of Langford and many local businesses that contributed resources. Volunteers, musicians, artists and artisans, as well as those that attended the Westhills BC Day Celebration had a blast! You’ll have to look forward to next year’s event, as it promises to be just as fun as this year!

The Life of a Resident in Westhill Consulting British Colombia

About six months ago we had the terrific pleasure of sitting down for coffee with Janet, a resident living in Lakeview Ridge of Westhills. While chit-chatting about her love for the community she now calls home, she told an amazing story about her next-door neighbour, Angela, and their small world tale of having grown up on the East Coast and realizing they had the same sister! Read as Angela tells us more....

The update – Janet and I are moving closer to finding our long, last sister Judy. As far as we are concerned, we were meant to find one another and have since continued to develop their beautiful friendship.

Sitting down with Angela in her beautiful, Westhills home on a nice, crisp fall day, we sipped coffee and she shared her Westhills story. Her and her husband Roy moved into their Westhills home in September of 2010. Every Saturday Angela would trek on site to photograph the progress of her homey construction so that she could share her excitement with her friends and family.

Once she had moved into Lakeview Ridge, Angela and Janet met and formed a bond almost immediately. They went on to co-founded the Real Ladies of Langford Lake, a group of "fun-loving gals who live on Langford Lake and just want to have a good time". The ladies took a break over the summer, but have gathered a few more members since we spoke with Janet. They are now looking forward to getting some activity/mingling events organized for this fall!

The ladies group is one of the reasons that Angela adores Westhills. "There is a sense of community here and people desire to connect with their neighbours, particularly now in our fast paced world."

This community feeling is not difficult to sense. Angela participates in her street garage/driveway parties, where neighbours will all pull out their lawn chairs and sit in their front yards socializing with one another. The party is on if one of the garage doors is open past 4PM – bring your favourite beverage!

We couldn't help but notice that Norah, Angela's kitty was also a part of the neighbourhood and a very valued part of Angela and Roy's family. Norah doesn't go outside, but often can be found peeking out the window at her animal friends as they pass through her yard.

Now being a resident of Westhills for over two years, Angela said that her top favourite reasons for living in Westhills started with the setting, as the grounds and surrounding areas are taken care of so well, including the introduction of Parklands, a park bordering Lakeview Ridge, Glenvale, Parkdale Creek and future phases of Westhills. This new park features two playgrounds, one for preschoolers and one for older children.

The second, Angela said, was the incredible value for money Westhills homes offer. Angela was particularly impressed with the opportunity to customize her home with the options, upgrades and colours she wanted. Her Westhills home is truly hers.

Lastly, the location of Westhills is a fantastic reason for living in the neighbourhood. Her and Roy can walk down to grab a coffee within ten minutes of leaving their home. The amenities in the area are outstanding – grocery shopping, home décor, clothing, electronics, plus the recreational opportunities like Langford Lanes Bowling, City Centre Park and the outdoor exercise circuit, walking trails and Langford Lake!

Beyond anything though, Angela wanted to be clear, "A friendly, welcoming community creates vibrancy that others want to be a part of" and that is why she has recommended that her friends check out the neighbourhood! It's clear that the community of Westhills embraces and respects everyone which has ensured a safe and charming place to live and play.

Foundation Principles of Westhill Consulting British Colombia

At Westhills, we believe that excellence is achieved by a solid commitment to quality. Our foundation principles reflect the core values which bring this commitment to life.

Sustainability

At Westhills, sustainability equates to environmental stewardship; it is the result of a careful assessment of every decision and action we take that relates to the land, water and air.

Extensive consultation was undertaken during the planning stages to ensure that all decisions were based on the most current environmental standards and thinking. Such organizations as the US Green Building Council, the Canadian Green Building Council, the BC Ministry of Community Services and the Design Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia all provided valuable input. In addition, an informal network of local business people was engaged to discuss long-term economic strategies to benefit the entire community.

The resulting Master Plan, based on the most up-to-date research and knowledge, ensures that each Westhills home is the product of leading edge green technology and practices.

Westhills neighbourhoods feature design elements that nurture both the environmental and social aspects of sustainability. For more information on Westhills ' Master Plan – click here

- 40% of Westhills lands have been protected as parks and green spaces.
- Naturally occurring watercourses will be restored and enhanced.
- Sustainable and eco-friendly transportation options such as community bus service and a revitalized rail link are mandated in the Westhills Master Plan.
- A town centre and two neighbourhood service/commercial centres will provide services and amenities within walking distance of all Westhills residents.
- Narrower streets and compact lot sizes help to preserve the environment and conserve precious natural resources.
- Design features such as sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and street-oriented architecture encourage walking and increase social interaction.
- Community Energy System (CES) provides geo-exchange heating, cooling and domestic hot water to homes throughout all Westhills neighbourhoods (except Parkdale Creek).

Affordability

Westhills ' vision of a community of vibrant and inclusive neighbourhoods is achieved in part by offering a wide range of housing options. Single-family homes, condos and town homes, in a variety of sizes and styles, are designed to accommodate a variety of family structures and to foster a diverse and welcoming community.

No matter what the price point, all Westhills homes offer outstanding value, unbeatable location and exceptional quality.

Design Excellence

The planning of all Westhills neighbourhoods has been influenced by Traditional Neighbourhood Design (TND) principles, which encourage the responsible use of land and resources in compact, walkable communities. Easy care single-family home lots range in size from 200 square meters (2, 153 sq. ft.) to 1, 000 square meters (10, 764 sq. ft.) with the majority being approximately 370 square meters (4, 000 sq. ft.).

A Westhills home features outstanding urban design in an environmentally sustainable setting. All single-family homes are BuiltGreen™ certified, and include a multitude of energy saving features and environmentally friendly finishes.

Quality Construction

At Westhills, quality construction means more than a solid foundation and a watertight roof. As industry-leaders, we set the bar high, employing reliable local contractors and trades people and requiring strict adherence to Westhills building practices and materials guidelines. We work closely with local businesses to help them understand our sustainability goals so they can stock the environmentally sensitive materials we require.

Westhills is proud to employ only quality builders who have been designated "Licensed Residential Builders" by the Homeowner Protection Office, a branch of BC Housing.

For absolute peace of mind, all Westhills homes are covered by a 2-5-10 year warranty through Travelers Guarantee Company of Canada.