Corp eyes Rs 2 cr tax

The weak Kochi Corporation exchequer may see a couple of crores flow in with its new proposal to levy 75 per cent service tax on all government buildings in the city.

The civic body will introduce the proposal at its next council meeting.

Presently, government buildings are taxed a nominal seven per cent, and receipt of payments is often irregular, said a top civic functionary.

As per a state government order issued in January last year, local bodies have been authorised to levy 50 to 75 per cent service tax on all government buildings.

Civic bodies have been given the right to fix the rate within the range. As per the order, the tax can be collected with retrospective effect from April, 2011.

The cash-strapped civic body will be able to add a handsome amount to its kitty from this tax collection drive.

Currently, the average annual tax collection from government buildings is a mere `32 lakh. With the hiked tax, the revenue could go up to Rs 2 crore annually.

“Once the council appr­oves the proposal, the revenue department can initiate steps to col­l­ect service tax from all government buildings which are aplenty in the corporation limits,” said the functionary.
Meanwhile, the corporation’s revenue digging drive at Willingdon Isl­and has been completed.

A team of corporation revenue department and Cochin Port Trust have assessed all buildings that have been rented out, leased or licensed by the port.

Notices have been issued to all buildings in the area, including big office complexes of multinational companies and hotel giants and the amount to be garnered should not be less than Rs 20 crore.

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