The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zone-wise tax recast report next month
- Rs 5 per sq ft at Ballygunge, Rs 2 in Behala

The Anish Majumdar panel, instituted by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) to rationalise and recast its property-tax structure by geographical zones, will submit its report to mayor Subrata Mukherjee next month.

The maximum valuation per square foot in the city proper (from Cossipore to Tollygunge) is likely to be Rs 5, and less than half the sum for the added areas of Behala, Garden Reach and Jadavpur.

Residential buildings on the main roads at Esplanade, BBD Bag, Gariahat, Park Street, Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street, Bhowanipore and Ballygunge, and those on the stretch of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass between the Park Circus connector and the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute will be on the highest rung of the valuation ladder.

Similarly, the under-developed zones in the city proper, bound on the east by the railway tracks of the Sealdah South section and the EM Bypass, will be on the lowest rung, of Rs 2 per sq ft. The highest rate per sq ft for the added areas will be equal to the lowest rate in the city proper area.

According to mayor Mukherjee, the objectives of the revised tax system are to provide some relief to the financially-pressed middle class and lower-middle class house-owners and to augment the tax revenue of the civic exchequer.

The relief will be delivered to citizens in the form of variable rates for different areas and lowering the taxable percentage of the annual valuation. The CMC will achieve an augmentation of its tax revenue by broadening the tax base and bringing hitherto unassessed buildings under the dragnet of property tax. “There are over two lakh unassessed buildings in the city,” Mukherjee disclosed.

The draft rate of the zone-wise tax valuation will be on display at the central municipal building and in all borough offices.

Presently, the CMC charges 40 per cent of the annual valuation as annual property tax. By the new system, 20 per cent of the annual valuation will be charged as annual property tax.

Besides, in the revised tax system, no extra burden will be imposed on a house-owner for letting out one or two rooms for running shops. At present, the civic body charges property tax at a commercial rate (about 60 per cent of the income from rent) on the portion of a residential building that has been let out for business purposes.

Finally, in the revised tax system, there will be a provision for an automatic increase of property tax by two per cent every year and, thus, the house-owners will be rid of the system of a general revaluation at an interval of every six years.

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