Government to consider property tax collection reforms

Union Housing Ministry is contemplating reforms to enhance efficiency and transparency in accordance to property tax collection by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for increasing revenues and making them self-reliant.

Hardeep Singh Puri, minister for housing and urban affairs, has recently chaired a meeting with urban development ministers of six states to discuss the upcoming actions that can be taken to enhance resources for ULBs. “If best practices are followed, it will enable ULBs to provide better services and infrastructure” said Puri.

“Discussed reforms to increase efficiency of property tax collection to enhance the resources available to ULBs at a meeting of consultative group on property tax reforms comprising state UD ministers from Gujarat, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh,” Puri tweeted.

“Our discussions on best practices in property tax administration and statutory provisions will enable the ULBs to provide better basic services and infrastructure to citizens across states,” he said.

The suggestions during the meet include frequent property revaluations and simplification of billing and reducing the exemptions. The meeting was held against the backdrop of urban local bodies after facing more dependency upon property tax after the enactment of GST. Property tax has now been the cornerstone of municipal corporations after the subsumption of local taxes under the GST, as per the study of finance of municipal corporations in metropolitan cities.

Some suggestions to increase property tax coverage include integrating information, revaluating property frequently, reducing exemptions and concessions, simplifying billing and payments, and ensuring strict enforcement measures.

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