Rejecting the plea of municipal corporation councillors, the UT administration on Monday issued a notification for imposition of house tax and has given three months’ time to the civic body to impose it. It has exempted the houses having areas less than 500 square feet, which means they have exempted LIG, EWS flats and cheap houses in various sectors.
The residential houses situated in colonies and villages under the municipal limits have also been exempted from house tax. Even the government land and buildings have been also exempted from the house tax, but they are liable to pay of service charges at a rate of 75% of the tax so calculated in the respective zones.
The UT administration stated that levy was essential since generating funds locally was a prerequisite under the Centre’s ‘Smart City’ project.
In the notification, it has been stated that, since MC has not been able to impose the same and failed to comply with the directions of UT administration, the notification was necessary. Also, it was important for MC to generate its own resources for the development of city and upgrade the quality services to its citizens.
The UT administrator, exercising its power under section 90 (5) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, ordered that the municipal corporation, Chandigarh, shall impose house tax under the provisions of Section 90 (1) (a) of the aforesaid Act falling within its limits from the 2015-16, except for any residential house/ flat having area less than 500 square feet.
In 2013, the MC had imposed house tax at a rate of `1 per square yard for houses covering an area of 125 square yards or more.
In 2014, the administration proposed to increase the tax from `1 per square yard to `20 per square yard. However, the MC House did not agree and as a result, the house tax collection couldn’t be done in 2014 and 2015.