The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No tax toll on social role

Sandhya Banerjee,
Salt Lake.

Educational institutions should not be exempt from paying property tax. Although several institutions are maintained by the government, in case of financial crisis, property taxes can be levied. ĎGive and takeí is the slogan of the day. These institutions are dependent on the authorities for various services, like their security. So, they should pay taxes. Today, education is a costly affair and every year many students flock to universities abroad after graduating from these institutions. If they can spend such huge amounts on foreign degrees, then why canít our educational institutions pay their property taxes, and add the amount to the studentsí tuition fees'

Naren Sen,

It is a controversial, but moot point. Nowadays, few educational institutions are exempt from paying property tax. Owing to globalisation, many private schools have mushroomed. The authorities of these institutions did not hesitate to take capitation fees from the students all these years. In this regard, the state government can impose a property tax. However, it should not be binding.

Piyal Mukherjee,
Lake Town.

If property tax is imposed on educational institutions, these institutions will naturally shift the burden on the students. In view of the increasing cost of education, most students are finding it difficult to pursue higher studies. So, it will be prudent to exempt educational institutions from paying property tax.

Seraj Alam,

Yes, educational institutions should be totally exempt from paying property tax, which would unnecessarily burden the students. The recent hike in service tax by eight per cent on coaching centres is such an example. So, there should be every measure to exempt educational institutions from any kind of tax.

Anandareep Ghoshal,

Since all other institutions pay property tax, so should educational institutions. As it is the government spends huge amounts of money on education. I think the stateís financial crisis can be solved to a great extent if a minimum of Rs 5 is added to the monthly tuition fees of the students, as tax. I donít think this will cause a problem.

Deborna Bhattacharyya,
Dum Dum.

Imposition of property tax on educational institutions will have an adverse impact on their financial status. This will impose additional monetary burden on the students, as the administrative authorities of those institutions will, obviously, levy additional fees on them. So, to safeguard the interests of the students it will be prudent to exempt educational institutions from paying property tax.

Hena Majumdar,
Rammohan Bera Lane.

Most institutions imparting education are keen to earn profits, much like any commercial concern. So, such educational institutions may be treated on a par with premises used for domestic or business purposes. Hence the managing committee or the proprietor, as the case may be, cannot claim special treatment to come under the purview of property tax exemption rules.

Abul Fateh Kamruddin,

Education in India has passed into the hands of private profit-makers. No doubt they impart quality education. But they never give free education. Then why the question of exemption from property tax'

Prasanta Kumar Ghosh,

An institute has to cough up a lot of money in the form of property tax to the municipality, electric bill to the power stations, water and conservancy charges to the municipality and phone bills to the telephone authorities. If an institute promotes the advancement of learning and is government-aided, property tax should be waived, but if an institute is a private one, based mainly on mercenary considerations, it should not be exempted from the property tax. These institutes fleece their students.

Debashish Chakraborty,

Keeping in view the important role of educational institutions in society, they should, by no means, be taxed. The authorities should rather assist them with finance.

Kanai Saha,
Gauri Bari Lane.

Definitely. If property tax is levied on educational institutions, the authorities will have to increase the tuition fees. As a result, meritorious, but financially backward, students will be debarred from continuing their studies. Keeping in mind the interests of the student community, the municipality should not levy any tax on educational institutions.

R.P. Majumdar,
Christopher Road.

Unlike religious organisations, though the educational institutions are used for the noble cause of imparting learning, yet, except the government-managed institutions, most are run on a commercial basis. Such educational institutions cannot claim, and expect, to get property tax exemption.

Indraneel Mukherjee,

Of course, educational institutions should be exempted from paying property tax. They are essentially charitable in nature, and their sole objective is to enlighten the younger generation at a minimal cost. But not all institutions abide by this principle. So, the government must supervise the fee structure, and keep a vigil on the use of resources. If they are making a profit, then the government should charge property tax from them.

Danish Khan,
College Street.

Not at all. When they donít exempt students from paying such high fees, why should the government not levy taxes on them'

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