Minimum increase of 25% in house tax likely

Over 1.40 lakh residents have submitted their self-assessment forms of property tax with the Kochi Corporation even as the local body has fixed March 31 as the last date for filing the statements.

It is estimated that there are around 4 lakh assessment units including residential and commercial buildings in the city. The local body had distributed self assessment tax forms to all the residential and commercial buildings some time ago.

The new tax regime will take at least four more months to come into force. After assessing the documents filed by the owners of buildings, the officials of the corporation will prepare demand notes for taxes from the assessees. The note would be prepared after comparing the statements filed by the tax payers with the documents available with the local body. Tax would be levied on all additional structures or improvements made to the structure from the original plan.

Residents will be allowed to file the new forms only after clearing any existing tax arrears. The officials of the local body will help the people in filling the assessment forms and filing them, said Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra.

Residents will have to bear at least a 25 per cent hike in the property tax when the tax regime comes into force. The maximum hike that the local body can impose on residential buildings is 75 per cent of the existing rate. In the case of commercial buildings, the tax hike will be between 75 per cent and 150 per cent. It was 17 years ago that the property tax was revised in the city, she said.

The local body is looking to the new property tax regime for improving its revenue collection. This year, the corporation collected Rs. 49 crore against Rs. 40 crore the previous year. The profession tax collection too witnessed an increase.Support for assessees

The corporation is planning to conduct camps across the city for helping the people to file their tax assessment forms. Camps would be organised in wards on demand from residents. The service of the officials of the local body would also be made available at the local level if residents’ associations came forward to file the tax statements, she said.

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