Property tax in city to go up from 50 to 500 pc

The property tax in the city is likely to go up from 50 per cent to 500 per cent, once the amended Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act by a gazette notification dated 28-4-2012 which prepares the ground for increasing the property tax in cities come into force.

 In a release the Mysore Grahakara Parishat has said that it is surprising that this amendment has drawn little attention in general.

Before the amendment, the maximum rate of property tax that could be levied by Mysore City Corporation on commercial properties was 2 per cent of the total capital value of the property. The amendment increases it to 3 per cent (an increase of 50pc).
Similarly, the amendment increases the maximum rate of property tax on vacant land less than 1,000 sq m in area from 0.2 pc to 0.5pc (an increase of 250 pc), vacant land between 1,000 sq m and 4,000 sq m in area from 0.05 pc to 0.1 pc (an increase of 100 pc) and vacant land larger than 4,000 sq m in area from 0.02 pc to 0.1 pc (an increase of 500 pc). There is no change in the property tax rates for sites on which residential and industrial buildings exist, said the release. The law prescribes both the minimum rate and the maximum rate at which property tax can be levied and the city corporations can opt for any rate between these limits, but it is the historical fact that the Corporations always choose the highest rate allowed to maximise their revenue. Since the allowed maximum rates have been increased, it is almost guaranteed that the corporations including MCC will increase their property tax rates soon to take advantage of the amendment. Therefore, owners of commercial properties and vacant sites can expect to pay a much higher property tax from 2013-14, the release noted. The gazette notification also permits city corporations to exempt 50 pc of the property tax for ex-servicemen and families of deceased servicemen (but MCC has not yet passed any resolution in this matter). It also mandates rainwater harvesting for all existing buildings built on a site larger than 2,400 sq ft and on all proposed buildings on sites larger than 1,200 sq ft. This condition can be easily enforced on future buildings through building licences, but it is not clear how it can be enforced on existing buildings. It is also surprising that using non-metric units has been prohibited by law since 1962, but the amendment still speaks of sq ft, said the release.

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