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The Burden of Being Balinese

Farmers Along Ida Bagus Mantra Highway Claim Property Taxes Have Skyrocketed

(12/8/2012) Farmers and subak members owning plots of land along the roadside of the Jalan Bypass Ida Bagus Mantra connection Denpasar and Gianyar are complaining that their land taxes have become too expensive.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Wayan Wana, a member of the Subak traditional water rights organization, said: “The taxes have doubled. In fact, the irrigation channels to our lands are not operating smoothly.”

Wayan Wana said the tax increase was inequitable and made no sense in the midst of efforts by the government to preserve the age-old subak system in Bali that was recently cited as a world heritage tradition worthy of protection by UNESCO.

He said he hoped that the land and property tax for property along the Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra remained stable and not be increased. Increasing taxes will only serve to encourage farmers to sell their lands to private interests for non-agricultural pursuits.

Wayan also complained that the government in order to widen the road connecting the capital of Denpasar with Ginayar had appropriated some of the farmer’s land.

He went on the describe that the annual property tax on his two-hectare parcel of land that once cost Rp. 1.5 million (US$156) now has a tax bill of Rp. 2.5 million (US$260).