Thiruvananthapuram: The property tax in Kerala is set to go up from April. A 5 per cent hike comes into effect from the new financial year. Hereafter, this crucial revenue stream for local self-government (LSG) bodies will increase by 5 per cent each year. Hitherto, property tax was being raised 25 per cent at one go every five years and this practice has been dispensed with for the incremental increase.
When property tax, which is widely known as building tax, increases by 5 per cent, the tax on houses and commercial properties will increase. The rate for houses in panchayat per square meter (approximately 10 square feet) is Rs 3-4, and in municipalities, it is Rs 6-20.
Over Rs 2,600 crore revenue comes from property tax every year. By increasing this by 5 per cent, an additional revenue of Rs 130 crore is expected.
The Government notification to assess the tax by measuring the constructions made in addition to the building plan submitted to the LSG institutions will be issued this week.
As per a plan information regarding additional constructions would be collected by LSG institutions ward-wise. This will be done after convincing the people about the same by convening the ward sabhas and gram sabhas. If needed, the help of the engineering graduates within the limits of each LSG will be sought for this.
If additional constructions too are identified and assessed, the revenue can be substantially increased. Such a method has already been adopted in Maniyoor Panchayat in Kozhikode.
Previous hike in 2011
The property tax was earlier revised in 2011. Later in 2016, the earlier notification was made effective for another five years. The term of this expired in 2021. The State Government had earlier given its nod to the recommendation of the State Finance Commission that instead of an increase every five years, the tax should be increased by 5 per cent every year.