Evaluation of Property Taxation System in Urban India
||Tiwari, Piyush and Anil Kashyap
||Evaluation of Property Taxation System in Urban India
||Book of Abstracts: 2005 European Real Estate Society conference in association with the International Real Estate Society
||Urban India has around 3000 urban local bodies (ULBs). The Seventy Fourth Constitutional Amendment Act (1992) has bestowed political power, administrative authority and functional autonomy on local bodies. The functional domain of ULBs now covers planning, regulation and development aspects. With autonomy, ULBs are required to provide for the services irrespective of their individual administrative or financial capabilities. To perform a vast array of functions (obligatory or discretionary), ULBs require adequate financial resources. Their revenues fall under four categories: (i) tax revenue; (ii) non-tax revenue; (iii) grants-in-aid; and (iv) loans. Property tax is the single largest source of revenue for local bodies in states where there is no provision for Octroi (a tax levied on entry of goods into a local area for consumption or sale, which accounts for 60 to 80 percent of total revenue for local bodies in states where in it levied). However, due to scathing criticism many states have abolished Octroi. For almost all ULBs the property tax has or would become the single largest component of their total revenue. Property tax is levied on building and lands and its basis of taxation is either the annual rental value or market rent or market value in case of land. Local bodies have the power to impose, suspend, reduce or abolish the tax or partly/wholly exempt any person or class of persons of any such tax on any property or description of property. Local bodies have begun to review their property taxation system in order to improve their finances and widen the property based tax base to take on added responsibilities. Some State Government and municipalities in Delhi, Patna, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad have modified their method of assessment or property tax significantly. The main objective of the paper is to review the existing or proposed property taxation system for select municipalities in India to evaluate their strengths and anomalies and to contrast and compare the system of property taxation in India with a land value taxation system which has been discussed or implemented elsewhere in the world.
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