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Indian Real Estate News : Kolkata
Kolkata Municipal Corporation to make property tax collection transparent
Source: TOI Bureau Jul 11, 2012
In an effort to do away with the inspector raj and make property tax collection transparent, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is set to introduce a system that the civic officials believe will make taxpaying easier and at the same time generate more revenue. After the new method is introduced, corporation inspectors won't visit the tax-payers' properties as they do now. Instead, they (the taxpayers) will make a self-assessment of their properties and fill in the "self-declaration" forms sent to them by the KMC for annual valuation (AV) of their property. The corporation will only charge 10% of the annual valuation of the property, which will be revised every six years, as property tax. This is applicable only if there's been no addition or alteration of the property between two assessment years.
If the house owner makes a construction or alters any feature of his/ her property, he/ she'll then have to mention it in the self-assessment form. If he defaults and his statement doesn't match with reality, the civic body might charge a high penalty. The KMC will also send an objection form where the taxpayer can explain the grounds of his objection to the existing tax rate.
Those who accept a flat 10% hike on AV (in case where the status of the building remains unchanged) will be sent a revised tax bill. On the other hand, assessees who have made changes (additions or alterations) on their premises will be sent a fresh tax bill based on their declarations. And those who don't will submit the objection form that will then go to the KMC assessment department for special hearing by the KMC-appointed officials. "The idea is to do away with the existing inspector raj and keep faith on the taxpayers in a bid to make the system transparent," said mayor-in-council in charge of the KMC revenue department Debabrata Majumder. "We want the taxpayers to come forward and clear their dues. To encourage them to pay taxes on time, we should not make unjustified hike in property taxes," he added.
The move is being viewed as a precursor to the unit area-based assessment system instead of the existing general revaluation (GR). However, the switch to the unit area-based system is yet to come because the KMC has not been able to mop up pending taxes and update to the extent that it can close the account before switching over to the new system. Civic bosses are busy updating property tax a record of more than 5 lakh assesses. "Keeping in mind the UAA system, we had stopped GR of the assessees. Now we want to update the records which will pave the way for introduction of the UAA system," an official of the KMC assessment-collection department said. The KMC assessment department will scrutinize the self-assessment forms and tally the information with the building department data. "If we find anomalies with the forms, we may send inspectors to find out the truth," an official said. Once the news system (self-declaration) comes into effect, revenue generation for the civic body will increase significantly, felt Majumder. "This will be a transparent system and will fetch more revenue than we are collecting now," the MMiC said.

Tag: Indian real estate, property in india,Real estate in kolkata, property in kolkata
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