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Bangli Regency Threatens to Clog Denpasar's Fresh Water Sources

Bangli Threatens to Halt and Pollute Fresh Water Arteries Flowing to Denpasar Over Fair Share of Hotel & Restaurant Taxes

The Municipality of Denpasar has decided not to allocate portions of the hotel and restaurant taxes (PHR)  to 6 regencies of Bali, including Bangli, claiming their resources are “limited.”

Nusa Bali quotes the very angry Regent of Bangli, Made Gianyar, who has responded to the cessation of a share in Denasar's tax take by pointing out the role played by his region in attracting tourists to Bali and the key role it plays in the sustainability of the Island’s ecosystem, including, but not limited to, as a source of water for the Capital of Denpasar. To underline his unhappiness, the Bangli Regent is vociferously threatening to clog and blockade Denpasar’s access to clean water by disposing of his area’s trash in the water tributaries supplying water to the South.

Regent Made Gianyar underlined his threat during a discussion of the Provincial Budget and plans to eliminate Bangli's share of the PHR that was held at the Bangli House of Representatives (DPRD-Bangli) on Friday, September 27, 2019.  The top official for Bangli insisted that without a share of the taxes generated by hotels and restaurants in Denpasar and the Regency of Badung, his administrative district who retaliate and dam the rivers leading to the south, causing them to run dry.

Made Gianyar complained that the Regency of Bangli has never received a proper acknowledgement from the Province of Bali or other Regencies for its role as the major source of fresh water supplies. This situation has continued while, at the same time, Bangli enjoys the lowest local income derived from taxation sources.

The Regent bemoaned the fact that the Municipality of Denpasar plans to allocate no share of hotel and restaurant taxes to Bangli in 2019.  In 2018, however, Denpasar paid a tax share of Rp. 2.9 billion to Bangli and Rp. 3.844 billion in the previous year of 2017.

The Bangli Regent said the problem has less to do with the size of the shared tax allocation given to his region, but more to do with the need for proper attention and respect to be paid to his area of Bali. He has written to the Mayor of Denpasar and is hopeful that a decision will eventually be made to share tax revenues with Bangli.

But, because the Denpasar Administration has not bothered to dignify Bangli’s written request with an answer, the Regent threatened that he would not hesitate to interrupt the tributaries flowing towards the south.  Adding: “We will not only blockade and damn the rivers, but we will also coordinate with the Bangli Regency Environmental Agency (DLH) to begin disposing our trash into the rivers that feed Denpasar’s and other regencies’ water supply. When we start throwing trash in the river, it’s for certain that tourism activities using the rivers will be negatively impacted."

Seeking to raise the stakes and enlarge his threat, Made Gianyar hinted to Nusa Bali that he has a personal ambition to become an oil dealer, suggesting he would dispose of any waste oil into the river. “If needed, our oil will be thrown in the river."

In the past, Gianyar protested the Sidan Dam Project located on the border with Bangli-Gianyar-Badung.

Traditionally, regencies in Bali (with the exception of Gianyar) receive a share of the hotel and restaurant taxed (PHR) collected in the Regency of Badung and the City of Denpasar – the areas playing host to the majority of the Island’s Hotels and Restaurants.  This sharing of revenues has been done to acknowledge that many tourists come to Bali to view the remote areas of Bali, but only spend their money on accommodation and restaurants located in the South.

Badung Regency continues to share its PHR revenues with Bangli. In 2019, Badung paid Rp. 53,904 billion to Bangli. This was less than the Rp. 80 billion paid in 2018 and Rp. 55.933 paid in 2017.

A spokesman for the City of Denpasar, I Made Pasek Mandira, insisted that tax collection shares from the municipality have not been “halted” for Bangli, but stated somewhat contradictorily that money formerly sent to Bangli was now being allocated to development projects badly need of funding in Denpasar.

Denpasar has reportedly decided to halt “tax-revenue-sharing” in 2019 to Bangli and five other regencies: Tabanan, Jembrana, Buleleng, Karangasem, and Klungkung. Mandira said money normally shared with these 6 regencies was more urgently needed in Denpasar. The Denpasar spokesman said he hoped tax collections in 2020 would permit allocations to be restarted for the five regencies.

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