People who want to get registration or mutation done for new properties will need to accept the new method of unit area assessment (UAA) for property tax calculation. The new method will apply even in cases of separation, apportionment or amalgamation of existing properties. The earlier reasonable rent (RR)-based system will no longer be used for the purpose of property tax calculation.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has, in effect, stopped offering options other than the UAA mode to people making any property-related application other than routine tax payment. The demand bills generated by the KMC for registration, mutation, separation, apportionment and amalgamation are all on UAA basis, which has come as a shock to many.
Sunil Karnani, owner of a four-storied house on Lenin Sarani who applied for mutation of his property recently, discovered that the KMC had fixed the new annual valuation of his property at Rs 2.25 cr, up from the previous Rs 1.45 lakh. It had happened due to the shift from RR to UAA, he was told when he complained.
Several such complaints are pouring in from south Kolkata, including Sambhunath Pandit Street and Sarat Bose Road.
A KMC assessment department official admitted that hundreds of mutation applications were pending because of the new rule making UAA mandatory. Over 1,000 cases are pending in areas like Behala, Jadavpur, Tollygunge and EM Byp-ass, where flat owners are refusing to switch to UAA, and for which the KMC is also withholding mutation certificates. But around 400 flat owners have agreed to the switchover recently, an assessment department official said.
Officials explained the KMC’s decision to the poor voluntary response to the UAA system that was introduced in April 2017. Only 40,000 of the 7.5 lakh assessees had applied for re-determination of their property value under UAA; and, of those 40,000 only a quarter or 10,000 have been registered by the KMC as UAA assessees till date.
KMC officials admit they are having a hard time enrolling property owners under UAA. The uncertainty has even led to a drop in property tax collection in the past couple of months. This prompted the authorities to devise ways to raise UAA compliance and this explained the move to tag fresh assessment, registrations and mutations, officials said.
New house owners also need to fill up the self-assessment form at the borough level before filing for mutation, say officials.