BANGALORE: Ever wondered why we, as citizens, have no say in fixing property-tax slabs? Here’s why. For two years, the Karnataka government has been sitting on the formation of property tax board, which was proposed to ensure transparency in fixing tax slabs for residential, commercial and other establishments.
In 2011, the Karnataka legislature passed a bill to form a property tax board, comprising tax officials and field experts. The board’s objectives included periodically revising the tax slabs depending on the nature of the property and zoning regulations, and inviting public objections. However, these goals have remained on paper as the board has not been established yet.
How will board help?
- Ensures transparency in fixing tax slabs for residential, commercial and other establishments
- Periodically revises tax slabs, allows citizens to have a say on taxation
- Facilitates scientific enumeration of properties and rates
- Suggests suitable basis for capital valuation of properties
- Could get more central grants on performance metrics
Property tax board can earn more grants
Asked about the status of the board, urban development department officials said: “We have made the law. But it’s yet to be implemented.”
Civic expert Dr A K Pani said the constitution of the board would also facilitate scientific enumeration of properties and rates, reviewing the property tax system and suggesting suitable basis for capital valuation of properties or the annual taxable value for properties.
“The board will go a long way in getting additional urban development grants for Karnataka from the central government. This is because the 13th Finance Commission has issued a directive for setting up of state-level property tax boards to get performance grant to urban local bodies,” he added.
Pani said 18 states in the country have effectively established the property tax boards, and Karnataka regrettably does not figure in this league.