According to civic officials, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to raise property taxes by 20% for houses whose tax has not been appraised since 2012.
Property owners will have one last chance to self-calculate their taxes under the unit area assessment — the new tax calculation system implemented in 2017 — and submit them to the KMC by December 13.
If they fail, their next tax bill will include a 20% increase over the prior amount and they will be judged to have switched to the unit area assessment technique.
The unit area assessment differs from the previous form of tax computation, in which a property’s tax was determined based on its yearly valuation.
Property owners can compute their taxes using the unit area assessment. So far, only approximately 35% of the city’s 8.5 lakh property taxpayers have chosen the new method.
The KMC intends to discontinue the previous system of tax computation and exclusively compute property tax using the unit area assessment scheme at some point in the future.
For the time being, this hike will exclude property owners who have recently seen an increase in their tax bill. The KMC has delivered new bills with increasing tax amounts to a large number of property owners during the previous few months.
According to a KMC spokesman, such owners would not face another increase right now.
“We’ve given taxpayers ample chance to switch to unit area assessment.” Since 2017, deadlines have been extended many times. “People have ample time,” stated a KMC official.
“We have now agreed to implement a flat 20% tax increase and transmit the next tax bill.” “All individuals who have not transitioned to the new system and whose property taxes have not been reviewed since 2012 will suffer the boost,” stated a KMC official.
If property owners do not agree with the new tax, they must file complaints with the KMC within a certain time frame, but the process is cumbersome.
According to authorities, it is easier to conduct tax self-assessment by the December 13 deadline. The civic authority is mailing letters to taxpayers who would be affected.
A KMC official, however, confirmed that some letters may reach owners a few days before the deadline.
According to a KMC official, a limited number of residents who have self-assessed their homes under the unit area assessment method are experiencing tax savings compared to what they had previously paid.
He claims that the unit area approach is more logical and clear because the tax varies by location. Taxpayers can go to KMC’s website and obtain the self-assessment form (SAF).
They must navigate from the home website to KMC departments>assessment and collection>unit area assessment. Property tax is meant to be reassessed every six years, however, the KMC fails to do so on time for many properties.
Most owners, too, do not request a tax reassessment.
“For the time being, we are just looking at people who have paid the same tax since 2012.” Properties that have been reassessed since 2012 but have not switched to the unit area assessment system will be handed new invoices in the next phase, although the rise will be lower,” stated an official.
During the current fiscal year, a lot of Kolkata residents got invoices from the KMC with higher tax amounts.
These persons are exempt from the December 13 deadline, although they will ultimately have to switch to the unit area assessment.