LCCI calls for downward revision of property tax rates
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called for downward revision of property tax rates as existing rate are too high and hindering the growth of businesses.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that high property tax is against the business interests. They said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had received a number of complaints from its members against increase in the property tax.
They said that the unfortunate part is that the industry located in rural areas is served tax notices with footage measurement by the TMOs. They said that wherever industry is situated it is considered an industrial area. They said that industry in rural area must not be treated as in urban area.
They said that keeping in view the present scenario such actions are bound to cause irreparable damage to socio economic structure which would ultimately hit the present regime.
They proposed that both the provincial and federal governments should come out with a formula about the maximum and minimum percentage of one’s income and what the person or people should expect in return.
They said that government must initiate Public Private Dialogue to resolve the issues of business doing people who are backbone of the economy. Citing an example they pointed out that in Lahore Davis Road and MM Alam Roads have been put in A category though the commercial value of property at M M Alam Road is many times higher than that at Davis Road. Moreover they added the excise department determines the property tax on the basis of rent charged at M M Alam Road while the rental value at Davis Road is 1/3rd. They said such discrepancies should be addressed to make the system more transparent.
The LCCI office-bearer said that government has to resolve the issue of increase in property tax rates immediately as it is creating unrest in the business community.
They suggested an increase of 50% in property tax rate with a three year cascading formula (20-20-10) and relief for those who deposited their taxes by adjusting their remaining amount in the coming years.
They said that the Excise & Taxation Department has served notices with unprecedented increase in various markets which were then replaced by new notices with 50% increase therein as mentioned by the E&T department. They said this process of serving notices should be revised.
They said that business community is not ready to accept even 1% increase in the commercial Property Tax rates due to the current economic conditions in the country. They suggested bringing down the commercial rates to zero percent.
They said that Punjab government had taken various business friendly initiatives. Business community hoped that property tax rate would be brought down in their larger interests.
They said that as we are paying Property Tax and the government in this year budget also imposed luxury tax which is unjustified. They also said that the changes in transfer fee of luxury vehicles are unprecedented which is hurting this sector very badly.