Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Saturday said 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 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 tweeted on his official Twitter handle.
“Implementation shall be done in consultation with the general public. Common citizens’ interests will be protected,” he added.
J&K administration had notified Jammu and Kashmir Property Tax (Other Municipalities) Rules, 2023, on February 21. Tax will be in force from April 1, 2023.
Taking serious note of what has been described as “unwarranted criticism” and “misinformation campaign” launched by the vested interests to provoke J&K people, the administration has launched an intensive campaign to create awareness among the people about the property tax.
The very first such initiative was made by the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) Principal Secretary H Rajesh Prasad, a day after the issuance of notification of Jammu and Kashmir Property Tax (Other Municipalities) Rules, 2023.
Following it, the administration has directed the Divisional Commissioners and the Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Jammu Municipal Corporation and Srinagar Municipal Corporations besides other officials to convene meetings with different stakeholders, representatives of trade bodies to remove their misgivings about the property tax.
The proposed tax will be implemented in the municipal limits only and not in rural areas.
HUDD Principal Secretary H Rajesh Prasad had described the tax as a “baby step” to improve the financial health of J&K municipal bodies and which would generate an estimated Rs 150 Cr revenue collection in 2023-24.
As per the rules 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.
“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,” Prasad had stated while tackling misgivings about the tax.
The Act also provides a rebate of ten percent for early submission of tax which can be paid in two installments.