Demand for rationalisation of tax structure

KOCHI, MARCH 24. The Kochi Corporation has urged the third Finance Commission to do away with the anomalies in fixing the building tax and to put an end to the practice of `attempting to make the civic bodies Government departments'.

The views of the Kochi Corporation were expressed by C.M. Dinesh Mani, Mayor, to the Finance Commission at a meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram today.

It was in 1993 that the building tax was last revised and the Government had specified that the maximum hike should be 25 per cent.

This ceiling had made it difficult to correct the anomalies in fixing of building tax, said Mr. Mani.

Entertainment tax

The Government unilaterally decided to reduce the entertainment tax for cinemas, which had affected the revenue of civic bodies. It also abolished the share of vehicle tax compensation and stamp duty and allotted maintenance grant and general grant as compensation for the revenue loss.

However, this had not succeeded in compensating the suffered by the civic bodies, he pointed out.

The Corporation has also demanded a share of sales tax collected from the city.

K.V. Rabindran Nair, chairman of the Commission, V.S. Senthil, Expenditure secretary, and P. Kamal Kutty, secretary of the Department of Local Self- Government, attended the meeting.

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