SMC councillor to mobilize support against implementation of property tax

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After the administration of Jammu and Kashmir ordered the evaluation of the value of land and made it a key determinant on levying of tax on that property, a councillor at the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has said that he will mobilize support within the corporation to oppose its implementation.

Danish Shafi Bhat, a councillor from Srinagar’s Ward 60, said the imposition of the property tax when “people of Kashmir are going through serious financial distress due to continuous political instability … will put people unnecessarily to further financial burdens.”

The administration had earlier this month notified that preparation and revision of Market Value Guideline Rules, 2011 should be adequately factored in while determining the property tax.

“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,” reads the notification.

“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.”

Bhat, however, said he will “reach out to all” his colleagues irrespective of their party affiliations to create “a broader consensus for vehemently opposing its imposition in Srinagar city”.

Bhat further said: “Our business community has suffered huge losses post 5 August [2019] due to total clampdown first and then life was totally crippled by pandemic and coming up with property tax at a time when things have just started to kickoff will put people unnecessarily to further financial burdens.”

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