Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The government has decided to give one more chance to the panchayat committees and the municipal and corporation councils to bring about changes in the rates fixed by the government for revising building tax.

Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty said here on Thursday that it was being done on the pleas of these bodies following complaints that the revised rates were considerably high.

He said the rates per sq m (11 sq ft) suggested by the government for residential buildings were Rs.3 to Rs.8 in grama panchayats, Rs.6 to Rs.15 in municipalities and Rs.8 to Rs.20 in corporations. But many local bodies had fixed the tax at the higher rates. They themselves were not demanding a change in it.

The Minister stated that he had given directions for reconsidering cases in which the revision had exceeded 60 per cent.

The rate would be fixed at 60 per cent till a decision was taken as part of the reconsideration process. This would not be applicable if any extension or change was made in the existing building.

He attributed the problems connected with building tax revision to the shifting from rental value based calculation to plinth area based calculation of tax.