Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to impose property tax from April 1.
The government's decision has been communicated to Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta.
Quoting Administrative Council decision No. 13/1/2023, an official memo reads " The administrative council approved the proposal with the direction that the proposed Property Tax, which will take effect on 1st April 2023, shall be levied at half of the proposed formula."
Numerous political parties, including the BJP, have voiced their opposition to the imposition of property taxes.
However, according to official sources, the Central Government only releases sizeable subsidies to Urban Local Bodies if they implement the Property Tax. "The ULBs will benefit greatly from the release of these grants."
They said that the plan to impose Property Tax in the Union Territory has been under consideration by the Housing and Urban Development Department for a long time now.
However, according to sources, the Department may initially only apply Property Tax to commercial buildings and exempt residential structures due to opposition to the plan from a number of political parties and groups, including the BJP.
"We have been told to complete the groundwork for the imposition of property tax in Srinagar," said a senior SMC official.
Additionally, in the past, prior administrations tried multiple times to impose a property tax in Jammu and Kashmir but were forced to give in to political pressure as a result of hostility to the idea.
The J&K administration was given permission by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in October 2020 to impose property taxes in the Union Territory through Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, and Municipal Committees.
With the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, the MHA amended the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, and the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.
The statutes passed by the previous Legislature also included provisions for the imposition of property taxes in the former State of J&K.
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 reads.
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 percent of the tax as may be prescribed, commencing from the financial year from which the Property Tax is determined.