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GMC eyeing new way of evaluating property tax

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 7 � Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is contemplating to implement a new method for assessment of property tax called �Unit Area Value� method, based on the value, size, purpose of use, location, nature of occupancy, type of structure, infrastructure, facilities etc of a property, alleged noted social worker Benudhar Barua.

Barua in a statement here, said that to assess this value of property, which is stated to be Rs 8,000 per square metre, will be multiplied by the plinth area of the house (that is external measurement of the house) and then it will be multiplied by any one of the four �Multiplicative Factors� (MFs), which is not explained in the GMC handout.

The new Unit Area Value Method will be more complicated and elaborate than the .present method of calculation. It may also increase the rate of property tax.

The GMC has stated that this has been formulated in line with Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Patna urban local self-governing bodies (ULBs). But the fact remains that the method of assessment of property tax in Patna ULB is known as Unit area Method (UAM) and not the one as has been claimed by the GMC in its handout.

The Patna method is very simple and is upheld by the Supreme Court of India. This method has already been incorporated by the Assam Government in the Assam Municipal Act, 1956 through the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Act, 2011 and is being implemented all the State, except the GMC area, since May 24, 2011.

The UAM is based on the annual rent a property is capable to fetch in one year. Under it a holding is divided into three criteria �� according to its location, its use and its type of construction.

The method to calculate the carpet area of the house to arrive at the annual rental value under this method takes into consideration the full measurement of the internal dimension of the rooms, full measurement of the internal dimension of the covered verandah, fifty per cent measurement of the internal dimension of the balcony/corridor, kitchen and store, one-fourth measurement of the internal dimension of the garage.

The 2 nd and the 3 rd Assam State Finance Commissions, respectively in 2003 and 2008, recommended the UAM for assessment of property tax by the GMC and this was accepted by the Assam Government too. Now the million dollar question is � whether a municipal body can ignore the recommendation of a Constitutional Body like the Assam State Finance Commission, that too after its acceptance by the State Government, wondered Barua.

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