Govt set to impose Property Tax in J&K, Will pave way for release of Central grants to ULBs
The Government is all set to impose Property Tax in Jammu and Kashmir but to begin with it might exempt residential accommodations and cover only commercial establishments. Imposition of Property Tax has been opposed by various political parties including the BJP.
However, according to official sources, there are significant grants which are released by the Central Government to Urban Local Bodies only if the Property Tax is imposed by them. “Release of these grants will significantly help the ULBs,” sources said.
They said the Housing and Urban Development Department has been working on the proposal to impose Property Tax in the Union Territory. However, as per reliable sources, the Department initially might cover commercial establishments for imposition of Property Tax and exempt the residential buildings as there has been opposition to the proposal from various political parties and organizations including the BJP.
Opposition to the proposal had prompted Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Mayor Rajinder Sharma, a BJP leader, to announce that the Property Tax will not be imposed.
“Slabs for imposition of Property Tax are being worked out,” sources said, adding the Tax will be imposed in such a way that it doesn’t burden even the business class who will be covered first with imposition of Property Tax on commercial establishments.
Pointing out that almost all States/Union Territories have imposed Property Tax, sources said Jammu and Kashmir didn’t impose the Tax as there was always opposition to it by almost all political parties.
However, the present Government has also taken into account the feelings of political parties and organizations and, therefore, decided to impose the Property Tax on commercial establishments only.
“Even if the Property Tax is imposed on residential buildings at some later stage it will cover houses constructed on large chunk of lands. Initially, however, all kind of residential buildings are likely to remain exempted,” sources said.
Earlier also, the previous Governments made several attempts to impose Property Tax in Jammu and Kashmir but had to succumb to political pressure due to opposition to the move.
In October 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had empowered the J&K administration to impose Property Taxes through the Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Municipal Committees in the Union Territory.
The MHA has issued several amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000 and Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 carried through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020. Erstwhile State of J&K also had provisions to impose Property Tax in the laws enacted by the then Legislature.
The MHA had substituted Sections 72 to 80 and now Section 72 states in the previous Acts of 2000. “Unless exempted under this Act or any other law for the time being in force, Property Tax shall be levied on all lands and buildings or vacant lands or both situated within the Municipal area. The Property Tax shall be levied at such percentage not exceeding 15% of the taxable annual value of land and building or vacant land or both as the Government may, by notification, from time to time specify,” the order read.
It said the Property Tax assessed and levied shall be subject to revision once in three years by enhancing the tax by such percentage not exceeding 10% of the tax as may be prescribed, commencing from the financial year from which the Property Tax is determined.