Dissent over plan to revise levy rule - Landlords, tenants fear they will have to cough up extra

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  • Published 16.06.11

Patna, June 15: The state government’s plan to impose commercial tax on house owners who rent out their apartments has not gone down well with either the landlords or their tenants. Both parties fear they will have to cough up large sums of money.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi yesterday said sufficient tax was not being collected and as a result, the urban local bodies were unable to meet even their own establishment cost. Landlords would have to pay taxes at a new rate after revision of holding taxes and related rules.

Some of the landlords, whose only source of income is monthly rent, are livid at the proposal.

For instance, Kidwaipuri residents Ramratan Prasad Singh and his wife Urmila Prasad Singh, who have resided in their five-story house for the past 20 years. Their monthly income is around Rs 25,000, and all of it is collected from rent. The couple believe that the revised taxes will stretch their budget.

Ramratan said: “The decision is not at all in favour of people like us whose only source of income is rent. It is an arbitrary decision and will create more problems for us. Inflation has made our life miserable. All commodities have become very expensive. I do not know where we will get the money from to pay the commercial tax.”

Urmila, too, slammed the decision and said: “Twenty years ago, my husband retired from a government job. We are somehow surviving on the money we get as rent. Do you think tenants will pay us extra money for the tax?”

SP Verma Road resident Om Prakash Bhagat, another landlord, said: “Commercial tax on landowners will not earn more revenue for the state. It will only help corrupt officials demand more bribe. If tenants leave the house and I do not get new tenants for months, from where will I get the money? I condemn the decision of the state government”

Tenants, on the other hand, are fearing they might have to cough up extra when the tax is enforced.

Nupur Sahay, a tenant, said: “We cannot appreciate the decision of the state government. It will only be a strain on my husband’s pocket. I do not know what the parameters are but it is not in favour of people like us. How many people in the Patna own flats or land? Most are tenants. The burden of the tax will be on our pockets, as the landlords will take the money from us.”