Bill to collect cess on property tax

Bill to collect cess on property tax

An amendment bill that proposes collection of two per cent cess on property tax to finance initiatives and capacity-building in urban transport was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.

The Karnataka Municipal Corporations and Certain Other Law (Second amendment) Bill, 2012, proposes to levy the cess for the purpose of promoting sustainable urban transport systems and infrastructure. The government anticipates to raise Rs 20 crore per annum by levying the cess.

The cess will form part of the State Urban Transport Fund, which will be utilised for implementing projects relating to urban transport, conducting studies, research, and campaign to encourage use of public transport.

The bill was tabled by Law Minister Suresh Kumar. The BBMP on its part is already collecting 24 per cent cess on property tax over the past three years. The Palike has been collecting six per cent library cess, three per cent beggary cess and 15 per cent health cess. The two per cent urban transport cess will take the total cess component on property tax to 26 per cent.

However, according to BBMP officials, the procedural movement of files is likely to delay the implementation of cess. “Further, as the financial year 2012-13 has already started, it will be highly unlikely that the cess can be implemented in the first half. We can only consider cess collection in the second half of the financial year once the amendment bill is passed by the legislature and when we accept the property tax without giving rebates and levying the penalties for delayed payment,” said the official. In the year 2011-12, the BBMP collected as much as Rs 1,200 crore by way of property tax from approximately 16 lakh properties.

The Assembly passed the Karnataka Municipal Corporations and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, that provides for entrusting supervision and technical audit of local bodies to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.