MHA empowers LG to constitute Property Tax Board in absence of elected Government

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Union Ministry of Home Affairs has authorized the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir to constitute the Property Tax Board whenever the Union Territory is without the Legislative Assembly.

According to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization (adaptation of state law) fifth order, 2020, an amendment has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Property Tax Board Act, 2013. The amendment reads:  “Provided that during the continuation of Proclamation issued under section 73 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), the Chairperson and members of the Board shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.”

Prior to this amendment in J&K Property Tax Board Act, the law stated that the chairman and members of the panel shall be appointed by cabinet on recommendations of a committee headed by Chief Minister, Minister in-Charge Housing & Urban Development Board and Minister in-charge Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

The committee shall recommend a panel of two persons for each post to the cabinet for approval, the law stated.

Under the law, the chairperson shall be a person not below the rank of person of commissioner secretary rank to the government.

The Central government has empowered the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to impose Property Tax through the Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Municipal Committees in their respective areas.

The powers have been vested by way of 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 issued by the Union Home Secretary.

Earlier, there were no explicit provisions vis-a-vis imposition of Property Tax in both these laws enacted by the Legislature of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.