MHA empowers J&K govt to impose property tax

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Union Ministry of Home Affairs has empowered J&K government to impose the property taxes in the Union territory.

An order issued by Secretary MHA, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, said power has been vested after making certain amendments in J&K Municipal Act, 2000 and J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 through the J&K Reorganisation (Adaption of State Laws) order, 2020.

Explaining description and class of property tax, the section 72 of the order reads “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 MHA’s order reads.

As per the section 73, the order reads that the taxable annual value of land and building or vacant land assessable to taxes under this Act shall be calculated by multiplying the corresponding unit area value with the total built-up area of a building or the total area of land, as the case may be, minus depreciation, at such rates as may be prescribed, depending on the age of the building, provided that subject to such conditions and in such circumstances as it may deem fit.

The municipality may, after passing a resolution in that behalf, in lieu of tax payable under this Act fix a lump sum amount not exceeding the sum payable under section 72 as annual tax for certain categories of property.

The property tax payable shall be reduced by 25% in respect of a self-occupied building used for residential purpose and such class of self-occupied non-residential building as may be notified by the government on the recommendation of the municipality.

The person liable to pay the property tax shall pay the tax in two equal installments, the first being before 30th May and the second by the 30th November of each financial year, reads the order.

It reads that every owner or occupier, who is liable to pay property tax under this Act, shall every year submit to the executive officer or any officer authorised by him in this behalf a return in the prescribed form within the stipulated period and in the prescribed manner.

“Every return filed by an owner or occupier shall be deemed to be assessed to tax except in cases where the executive officer or any officer authorized by him take up cases for random scrutiny in such manner as may be prescribed,” it says.

“If the owner or occupier of the property refuses to allow the authorized officer to enter the premises for inspection, survey or measurement, the officer shall, after intimating such owner or occupier in this behalf, record the refusal and proceed to assess the property to the best of his judgment,” reads the order.