The cash-strapped SAD-BJP government is likely to give the nod to a please-all property tax policy by drastically slashing the tax in the cabinet meeting slated for Tuesday. Also on the agenda is another contentious policy wherein cabinet approval will be sought to extend the policy of regularising irregular colonies by one year.
Now, government sources say, the local bodies department being headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Anil Joshi has in the new policy on property tax mooted to give 100% exemption to ex-servicemen, people below poverty line (BPL), government-run educational institutions, government-aided schools and colleges, old age homes, orphanages, religious institutions, and the land and buildings owned by municipal corporations.
Property tax emerged as a prime issue in the Lok Sabha polls in which the SAD-BJP alliance did not perform up to expectations. The Badal regime has been saying that the tax had to be imposed upon Centre’s directions to get funding.
While no property tax will be charged from widows and disabled persons up to Rs 5,000, all private educational institutions will be charged only 50% of the total calculated property tax, the new policy proposes.
People owning 125-sq-yard plots and a single-storey house on such plots will be exempted completely from property tax. But, in case of more than one storey, tax will be applicable as per the policy, sources say.
It also delinks the property tax calculation from the collector rate — another major demand which is expected to bring the tax down drastically.
The policy of regularising illegal colonies launched in August 2013, and described as “most public friendly” by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, will also be placed before the cabinet for extension by one year. Terms and conditions will remain the same.
It is estimated that there are over 5,000 illegal colonies across the state and the policy aims to help colonisers to get their offences compounded, while house and plot owners get their dwellings regularised with a nominal fee. Government sources say the policy had lapsed as the act passed in
this connection had one-year validity.
Earlier, the policy covered unauthorised colonies and buildings constructed before April 1, 2013, and the last date of submission of application was November 5, 2013. The last date will accordingly be reset too.