Jammu: J&K government has invited suggestions, from the general public regarding property tax, to be sent to the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) within ten days.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday had stated that the government was open to any constructive suggestion or comment to improve the process specified vis-a-vis property tax and if that could facilitate people, it (administration) would go to any end to implement that.
“The UT of Jammu and Kashmir is imposing levy of property tax on Residential Houses/Apartments, Commercial Establishments within the Municipal areas with effect from April 1, 2023 in terms of notification issued by the government vide S O 86 dated February 21, 2023 and S O 87 dated February 21, 2023 respectively,” read the notice to the general public issued by HUDD.
“Any suggestions or comments in this regard are welcome and may be sent to the Housing and Urban Development Department at the email address email@example.com, within 10 days,” the notice further read.
“To protect the interests of the common man of J&K is the major concern and the top most priority of our administration. We have issued a toll free number and have sought suggestions from the people. If the people have certain valuable suggestions to offer to simplify or improve it (process), it will be welcome. In case there is a scope to facilitate the people on any account, we'll definitely go for it. There will be no hitch,” the Lieutenant Governor had said, while replying to media queries with regard to the protest by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry which even observed ‘Jammu Bandh’ on Saturday on this issue.
While asserting that the doors of administration were always open for dialogue, however, he had cautioned that there was no scope for politicking on these issues.
On February 25 also, LG Sinha had reiterated that the property tax would be implemented in J&K in consultation with people and the interest of common citizens would be safeguarded.
In a series of tweets, he had said that the citizens’ welfare was the foremost priority of the government and property tax would ensure financial self-sustainability of cities and improvement of public amenities in the Union Territory.
“Our cities must witness rapid development and emerge as engines of growth. For that, financial self-sustainability of cities is necessary. Property tax in J&K will be one of the lowest in the country and will be used for improving public amenities in J&K,” the Lieutenant Governor had tweeted on his official Twitter handle.
“Implementation shall be done in consultation with the general public. Common citizens’ interests will be protected,” he had added.
J&K administration had notified Jammu and Kashmir Property Tax (Other Municipalities) Rules, 2023, on February 21. As per the notification, the proposed tax will be implemented in the municipal limits only and not in rural areas.
The rules specify that all J&K residents in municipal areas will have to pay tax at the rate of 5 percent and 6 percent of Taxable Annual Value (TAV) on their residential and non-residential properties respectively. However no tax will be levied on the vacant lands - not appurtenant to a structure or building; the properties of the Municipality; all places of worship; cremation and burial grounds.
All properties owned by the Government of India and the UT government will also be exempted from payment of Property Tax. However, service charge at the rate of 3 percent of the Taxable Annual Value will be payable to the Municipality in respect of such properties.
The Act also provides a rebate of ten percent for early submission of tax which can be paid in two instalments.
According to officials, under the new tax formula, the residential houses with an area of up to 1000 sq ft would remain exempted from property taxes. Similarly residential property with build up area upto 1500 sq ft will be discounted. This will ensure relief for LIG and MIG category residential houses. Tax rates in UT of J&K are notified in such a way that tax implications are progressive in nature with minimum implication to small businesses and households. Small commercial establishments especially shops upto size of 100 sq ft and 200 sq ft have also been provided relief with very minimal tax implications. Most of the shops especially in neighbourhood areas and old markets fall in this category.