To bring more tax-payers under the Unit Area Assessment (UAA) system for determination of property tax, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) assessment department has decided to extend the deadline for switchover to the new system.
Though the civic brass doesn’t want an official announcement, the process for the tax conversion will continue, said a KMC revenue department senior official. Earlier, the KMC authorities had fixed a December 31 deadline for conversion from a rent-based valuation method to the area-wise (UAA) system and announced an annual 5% penalty for those who won’t convert to UAA.
Having noticed willingness among a section of the property taxpayers to accept the conversion, the KMC revenue department has decided to extend the deadline to accommodate lakhs of property owners into the UAA fold. According to a civic revenue department official, though the KMC brass has decided to expedite the conversion system from time to time since 2017, the response from the taxpayers had been slow till last year.
Now, after witnessing a response and out of desperation to augment revenue, the civic bosses have adopted a two-pronged strategy.
First, the KMC assessment department inspectors will meet the existing assesses personally and arrange for the conversion along with conducting camps at housing complexes for the switchover and second, follow a ‘forced conversion’ method.
This means whenever a flat owner or owner of a standalone building visits the KMC assessment department with an appeal for the mutation of his/her property, the civic body will automatically bring the property under the UAA valuation method.
In fact, the KMC revenue department officials have asked the assessment department inspectors to stop mutation of those assesses who have not applied for UAA.
“We made conversion to UAA mandatory in case of issuing a mutation certificate. This strategy has, so far, worked for us especially in the added areas and some south Kolkata localities. The number of assesses who were converted to UAA rose when the civic brass decided to send assessment department inspectors to households and conducted a drive to bring more assesses into the UAA fold. The inspectors knocked on the doors of assesses of Dhakuria, Gariahat Road, Kasba, Jadavpur, Baghajatin, Netaji Nagar, Jodhpur Park, Tollygunge, Behala and some areas off EM Bypass,” said a KMC revenue department official.