New taxes leave residents fuming
Announcement of new taxes by the state government hasn't gone down well with the common man.
Many feel that the increased VAT and luxury and property taxes, would burn a hole in their pocket and put further financial liabilities on them.
The property tax, in particular, hasn't come as good news to many. "Since the announcement of property tax by the government, people are in a panic mode. I have been receiving endless calls regarding payment of property tax," Rajiv K Sharma, a city-based chartered accountant, said.
"As per available information, the property tax would be around 1% of the gross value of land and the cost of construction. So I think a person having 200 yard home will have to bear an additional burden of Rs 20-30 thousand per annum," he added.
The most concerned are the ones who have their houses bigger than 100 yards, as they fall under the category wherein they will have to pay property tax in terms of the land value.
Ram Kumar, a city resident, fumed over the new tax regime, saying, "The tax rate is unbearable. It should not be applicable on those houses that are occupied by the owners and where no commercial activity is going on."
Avtar Singh Malhotra, another resident, seemed more concerned with the pressure it will put on his household budget. "The new property tax is unacceptable, it will put immense burden on the common man who is also already bearing the brunt of inflation."
Besides, the hotel industry is also ruing the increase in luxury tax on hotels from 4% to 8%. Amarveer Singh, secretary, Hotels and Restaurants' Association, said, "The occupancy rate in hotels is already around 32% and after the increased tax it will further go down to 20%. We in Punjab pay the highest luxury tax which is levied on rooms starting from Rs 200 onwards, which is unfair."
Unhappy with the development, the traders are planning to hold a state-level meeting soon. Mohinder Aggarwal, secretary, Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mansdal, said, "The VAT on electronics goods has reached 14.3%, which is very high as compared to neighboring states. Even in Delhi it is 5.5%. We are going to hold a meeting over the issue."