Kalyana Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCI), a body of industrialists and traders from Kalyana Karnataka region, has urged Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj to take steps to reduce property tax in Kalaburagi City Corporation limits with a view to boosting business activities.
In a media note released in Kalaburagi on Tuesday, Prashant S. Manakar and Sharanabasappa M. Pappa, president and secretary of the trade body respectively, held that the constant increase in property tax in Kalaburagi city limits has affected business activities of traders and industrialists.
They also said that the government has purposely used the timing of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown to increase taxes by amending the relevant Act to avoid public opposition.
As per information provided by the KKCCI office-bearers, the previous government had exempted vacant land/open land up to 1,000 sq m from property tax. However, the incumbent government made amendments to the relevant Act to reduce the exemption to 1,000 sq ft to bring almost all vacant/open land under the ambit of property tax.
“We have opposed the [constant increase in property tax] and have represented this matter at the level of the Minister concerned and also the Chief Minister. Yet, the Kalaburagi City Corporation is not showing any inclination to reverse the trend of increasing property tax every year,” Mr. Manakar and Mr. Pappa said in the statement.
Speaking to The Hindu later in the day, Mr. Pappa said that the constant increase in property tax in Kalaburagi is hitting hard trade and commerce activities, in general, and construction activities, in particular.
“Property tax are dynamic in nature and changing/increasing it every year does not suit the basic tenets of taxation. All residential, commercial and industrial property owners in Kalaburagi City Corporation limits are under duress with the irrational increase in property tax every year up to 5%. Besides, there is no uniform software for all municipal corporations in the State for calculation of SAS Tax. The software used by the Kalaburagi City Corporation is outdated and not user-friendly which makes it very tough for people to make any corrections to wrong entries made by the city corporation,” Mr. Pappa said.