THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has issued clarification on property tax levied by grama panchayats. Houses with an area of less than 60 sq m (660 sq ft) have been exempted from property tax from 2015-16 onwards.
An affidavit from the house owner should be kept by the secretary for a five-year term.
Taxes before April 2013 will be applicable to properties with less than 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft) area if no structural changes such as roof changes were made. If major changes were made the new tax will be applicable. If there were building expansions other than major structural changes then new tax will be applicable after assessing the appended area. The assessment can be done by cross-checking the data in the permit register and assessment register with the panchayats.
If such data is not available, it can be collected from the property owner through an affidavit in Form number 1. If the total area is more than 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft) and no major structural changes were made, the existing tax and additional 25 per cent shall be levied from April 2013. If there has been an expansion the tax will be levied on the extra space after a reassessment.
No separate property taxes will be imposed on pump houses, motor sheds and so on used solely for agricultural purpose. Grama panchayats have been directed to complete the property tax assessment before December 31.