Numbering of houses to be completed by August 25

As the intricate self-assessment forms of property tax are giving the residents a tough time, the Kochi Corporation is sending out its officials to help residents fill the forms.

The four-page self assessment form seeks a wide range of information, including the distance of the building from the thoroughfare, type of roofing, construction materials used and age of the building, through 22 heads and nearly 100 questions. A series of calculations are also to be made by the owner of the property, including basic taxes and rebates based on the type of construction, plinth area and age of the building.

Besides having to make the complex assessment on their own, house owners will also have to sign the application form stating that they shall be liable for fine or any other legal proceedings if the facts furnished are proved incorrect and misleading.

The corporation will send out its officials to various places to assist people to fill up the forms and clarify their doubts regarding the data that needs to be included in the document, said B. Bhadra, Deputy Mayor. Five organisations, including some community groups, have approached the corporation seeking its support for clarifying doubts. The officials will go out to the masses from the third week of August, she said.

The service of the officials will be made available to those organisations that seek them. Later, help desks would be opened in all the zonal offices of the Kochi Corporation to help people complete the formalities, Ms. Bhadra said.

There are around five lakh door numbers in the city including the individual residential units, apartments and commercial establishments. Under the new tax regime, each unit will have to be given new house numbers and tax assessment forms. The officials are also expected to carry out random checking of the assessment forms filed by the residents. According to the revised schedule, the distribution of forms and numbering of the houses will have to be completed before August 25. Kochi Corporation has missed several deadlines fixed for the purpose.

Meanwhile, confusion is prevailing among the civic authorities too regarding the deadline for filing the forms. One has to wait for an announcement from the government and need not be in a hurry to submit them. Over the past few weeks, the corporation has received around 1,000 forms from residents of the city, said civic officials.

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