The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is readying to amend the laws governing property taxes in Kolkata. This decision is aimed at lowering anxieties of tax payers and encouraging them to switch easily to the unit area assessment or UAA system instead of the rent-based assessment. The draft amendment is already being prepared for examination by the State Municipal Affairs Department prior to being tabled at the West Bengal State Legislative Assembly.
This has details of the changes in calculation of property taxes. Common areas in commercial buildings are excluded from the flat area that is being assessed. This will bring relief from double taxation to landlords and tax zone parameters have also been relaxed. The KMC is going all out to inform house owners that shifting to UAA will not lead to taxes being hiked considerably. The 20% cap on increasing or lowering taxes for 5 years or 1 tax cycle is sought to be retained by the KMC. The UAA compliance is presently lower than 8% and the KMC is hopeful of scaling this up by a good deal.
Just 60, 000 property owners approximately have submitted UAA applications while the number of assessees in Kolkata are 7.8 lakh. The Revenue Department has earlier stated that the form has to be simplified. KMC and the Kolkata Mayor have already held meetings in order to eliminate regulations and rules which are irrelevant or simply redundant in the current scenario. The KMC has also been approached to grant exemptions for commercial zones at shopping malls by owners of several of these establishments. This appeal may also be considered as per reports. There will have to be another amendment of the UAA guidelines in this regard. KMC has also entered into a collaboration with CREDAI-Bengal, the representative body of real estate developers in Kolkata and the latter will help with UAA implementation.