'Switch to Unit Area Assessment or face 5% penalty'
Times of India | 25 November 2022
KOLKATA: In an attempt to streamline the city’s property tax system, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to levy a penalty on the existing property taxpayers who have not yet switched to the Unit Area Assessment (UAA) method for calculating annual tax payable to the civic body.
An amendment bill in this regard was passed in the state assembly on Thursday.
The KMC assessment department will reserve the rights to levy a 5% penalty (maximum) annually on the property tax payers who won’t choose to switchover from the present rent-based annual valuation of the property. According to a KMC assessment department official, the civic body had officially announced that all property taxpayers would need to switch to UAA after filling up a self-assessment form declaring details about his/her properties from January 2017.
“Armed with the amendment we will ask the property taxpayers to switch to the UAA or else we will be compelled to levy a penalty on the errant property owners,” said a KMC assessment department senior official.
The official said the civic body was sending notices to property owners to clear tax dues that have been accumulating since 2004. “We have been sending notices to property owners of those neighbourhoods where we couldn’t finish our General Revaluation process since 2004. After regularising the tax payment, we will ask them to switch to the UAA as we no longer encourage payment of taxes under the annual rent-based system,” said a civic official. The KMC assessment department conducts GR of the properties and based on the exercise the tax of a property owner gets increased. If no additions or alterations in a property is found, the KMC levies a 10% hi-ke in property tax.
However, once the current taxpayers are converted into the UAA system, they will need to go through a fresh calculation, said a KMC assessment department official. In order to give relief to the taxpayers, the KMC now plans to categorize different streets or stretches of streets or localities within the 144 wards across the city. “Based on the recommendations by a section of expert property valuers, we have agreed to again take a look into the categorization of properties based on their locations and amenities enjoyed. We may need to create sub-blocks within a stretch of a street based on scientific process of valuation of properties,” said a KMC official.