Srinagar: People living within the jurisdiction of Badami Bagh Cantonment Board (BBCB), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Defense, have begun receiving property tax bills from the board for their commercial and residential structures in Srinagar.
Residents of several localities including Sonwar, Indra Nagar, Batwara, and Shivopora said that they have received property tax bills from the Board for the ongoing year. The bills have been charged as per the value of the property and range from Rs 2000-20,000.
The authorities, according to locals, have unilaterally valued their properties and assessed the amounts to be paid.
“No part of Srinagar or any other area of Jammu and Kashmir pays any tax on their own properties. This is a new gift after the abrogation of article 370,” Kashmir Life quoted a group of locals from Indra Nagar as saying.
While expressing their displeasure at the decision, the residents said such a move would only add to their miseries.
“I am a laborer and have worked hard to buy this property. This is my property, why should I pay the tax. Until now no one asked us to pay tax. Why are they doing it now,” a local asked.
Earlier in February this year, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered that the value of land notified in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Preparation and Revision of Market Value Guideline Rules, 2011 should adequately be factored in while determining the property tax.
The Housing and Urban Development Department had ordered that the value of land notified is adequately factored in while determining the unit area values for levy of property tax under different laws.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by the Jammu & Kashmir Property Tax Board Act, 2013, the Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, and the Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act,2000, the Government hereby direct that for the levy of property tax on any land or building, the value of land as notified in terms of Jammu & Kashmir Preparation and Revision of Market Value Guideline Rules, 2011(circle rate) shall be a key determinant of the value of the property apart from the nature of construction, the kind of use, the age of the property, or any other relevant consideration,” read the notification.
It further added: “The Property Tax Board, or as the case may be, the Municipal Corporation, Council or Committee concerned shall ensure that the value of land so notified is adequately factored in while determining the unit area values for levy of property tax under the aforesaid Acts.”
It is worthwhile to mention that JK Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had last year said that the JK administration would not impose any property tax on the people in JK.
“Some people are saying that property tax will be levied from people of J-K. I am telling you clearly that no such tax would be levied in by the UT administration,” Sinha had said while addressing people in the Baramulla district.
Sinha, however, said that nobody should have any objection if elected representatives will take any decision for increasing facilities for the general public.