J&K Govt delays Property Tax imposition ahead of ULB elections

SRINAGAR, OCT 07: The Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to delay the implementation of Property Tax, a move that comes in light of the upcoming elections for the Urban Local Bodies, including Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, and Municipal Committees.
This development is evident from two notifications issued recently by the Housing and Urban Development Department.
These notifications, issued under the authority conferred by Section 71-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, and Section 143-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, direct the amendment of Rule 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir Property Tax (Municipal Corporation and Other Municipalities) Rules, 2023. Specifically, the notifications replace the previously mentioned date of “30th September, 2023,” with the phrase “such date as the Government may notify.”
Notably, the notifications refrain from specifying a particular date for the imposition of Property Tax, leaving it open for the government to announce a new date in the future. This decision is likely to provide relief to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially during the election period.
The postponement of the Property Tax imposition comes amid preparations for the elections to the Urban Local Bodies, where citizens will select their representatives to oversee governance and development in their respective regions.
“With this move, the government aims to avoid any potential controversy or unrest that could arise due to the imposition of Property Tax during the election period,” sources said.
The exact date for the implementation of Property Tax remains uncertain, and it will be announced by the government in due course. In the meantime, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir can expect a reprieve from this tax, allowing them to focus on participating in the upcoming elections and exercising their democratic right to choose their local representatives.
The tenure of the Jammu Municipal Corporation ends on November 14, while the Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s tenure concludes on November 5, 2023. In October or November of this year, the five-year terms of local councils and committees across the region will also expire.
The latest elections for urban local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir took place in October 2018 when the governor was in power. The boycott by the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had been due to concerns about potential threats to the region’s unique status.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), Jammu, has expressed its support for the government’s decision to postpone the imposition of Property Tax.
During a meeting at the Chamber House, presided over by Arun Gupta, the president of CCI Jammu, and attended by office bearers of the Jammu Chamber, Arun Gupta conveyed sincere gratitude to the Lieutenant Governor for honouring the request made by the Jammu Chamber. He emphasized the necessity of initiating a comprehensive dialogue with all stakeholders concerning Property Tax and formulating a well-thought-out policy through extensive discussions with relevant parties to contribute to the region’s development and prosperity.

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