THE KERALA PANCHAYAT RAJ (BUILDING TAX AND THE SURCHARGE THEREON) RULES, 1996 [Translation in English of the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Building Tax and the Surcharge thereon) Rules, 1996, published under the authority of the Governor.] S. R. O. No. 313/96.—In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 203 and 208 read with section 254 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (13 of 1994), the Government of Kerala hereby make the following rules, namely':— RULES 1 - Short title and Commencement.—(1) These rules may be called the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Building Tax and the Surcharge thereon) Rules, 1996. (2) They shall come into force from the 1st April 1996. Deflations.—In these rules unless the context otherwise requires,- ‘ (a) Act’ means the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (Actl3of l994); (b). 'Secretary' means the Secretary of a Village Panchayat; (c) 'Standing Committee; means the Standing Committee consti- tuted under section 162 of the Act; (d) 'Section' means a section of the Act. 3. Tax to be levied on building.—For the purpose of levying building tax .under section 203* on buildings not exempted from tax under section 207 of the Act, tax shall be assessed 01, every building and the structure appurtenant thereto unless the owner of the appurtenance is one other than that of the building. Buildings, unless attached to each other., shall be considered as separate buildings for the purpose of levying tax even if they are situated within the same premises. 4. Assessment of Annual Rental Value.—The net annual rental value of buildings shall be deemed to be the gross annual rent received, or that may be received, when it is let out on rent monthly or annually less a deduction often per cent of such annual rent and the said deduction shall" be deemed to be in lieu of the expenses towards maintenance or any other account whatever; provided that in the case of,— (i) a Government building; or (ii) a. building, under the category, of those that are not ordinarily let out on rent and the gross annual rent of which cannot/in the opinion of the Standing Committee, be estimated; the annual rental value shall be assessed as six per cent of the total _ estimated value of the appurtenant land and the estimated present cost of construction of the building less a reasonable amount for depreciation which shall in no case be an amount less than twenty per cent of such cost:, Provided further that where the annual value of any building is attrif but able partly to the use of such building or any part thereof for the display any advertisement or advertisements, the value of such building may, for the purpose of assessing tax thereon, be fixed as if the building or part thereof were not used for the display of such advertisement or Advertisements. Explanation.—(I) The machineries and household articles shall be exempted while assessing the value under this rule. Explanation.—(2) 'Appurtenant Land' means the land, (including the value of the land) comprised within the plinth area of the building together with the adjucent land not exceeding 25% (Twenty-five per cent) of the plinth area of the building, if the owner has other land adjacent thereto. 5. Power of Standing Committee to call for details and to enter into premises.— (1) The Standing Committee may, for the purpose of levying building tax demand, by notice, the owner or occupier of a building to submit within fifteen days after the service of the notice, return in respect of the rent paid for the building, cost of construction thereof and the extent of, the land along with other details that the Standing Committee may require. (2) Every owner or occupier on -whom such notice is served shall be bound to comply with it and to submit return which is true to his knowledge and belief. (3) The Chairman of the Standing Committee or the members thereof or any person authorised for the purpose by the Panchayat Committee shall, for the purpose mentioned above, have power to enter into such a place or building in between sun rise and sun set and to conduct any inspection, survey, measurement or valuation after giving twenty-four hour's notice to its owner or occupier. 6. The Standing Committee shall, once in every Jive years, fix the tax payable annually and the owner shall, in two half yearly installments, pay the same.~(l) The rental value of any -building, for the purpose of building tax -shall be fixed by the Standing Committee with the assistance of the Secretary or of the Panchayat Officials holding technical post: Provided that the annual rental value of any building for which the members of the Standing Committee are liable to pay, the tax shall be fixed by the Panchayat with the assistance of the Secretary or the Officer holding technical post. (2) The Standing Committee shall, once in every five years, fix the annual rental value of the building and shall levy the building tax thereof and the owner of the building, on which the tax has been levied, may remit the same in two equal annual installments: Provided that the entire tax for a financial year shall be remitted every year before the thirty-first day of October of that financial year. *[XXX] During the period of initial preparation of the. tax assessment registers and on the completion of. the general revision, the tax shall be remitted on or before the last date shown in the bill issued under rule 12. (3) -The increase in tax., in the general revision, for the buildings included in the previous assessment and not subjected to renovation, extension etc. shall not exceed twenty-five per cent for the terraced buildings and ten per cent for those roofed with tiles, sheets and other materials, (4) The tax in respect of those establishments let out on daily rent like lodges, Kalyanamandapam. halls etc. shall be fixed on the basis of the amount collected as daily rent. In the case of such buildings, fifty per cent of the total amount of rent collected shad be deducted towards electricity, furniture and service charge and tax shall be levied on the presumption that they arc let out at lease for one hundred days in a year. (5) The Secretary shall record in writing the annual value or capital value fixed by the Standing Committee and the tax payable thereon in the registers maintained for the purpose in the Panchayat Office. The following informations in so far as the same may be collected in respect of every taxable item, shall be recorded in such registers. (a) name of the owner; (b) name of the occupier; , (c) designation, if any of the owner or occupier; (d) name of the ward and street if any, in which it is situated and the house name and. any survey number or other number thereof; . (e) the annual value or capital value as the case may be; and (f) the amount of tax payable. (6) The Secretary shall, immediately on completion of the tax assess- ment., keep the assessment register of every ward signed by the Chairman of the Standing Committee after adding up the amount of taxes and recording the same in figures and words. * The word "Those who mate............. two perncet per moth" shall be omitted in SRO-No76/97. (7) The Standing Committee Shall once in five years, completely revise the tax registers in respect of building tax. (8) The Standing Committee may, in case any renovation or new addition has been made to a building on which tax has beer levied, after a metal revision thereof, alter or-make modification in the annual rental value or in the amount of tax of the building- Such modification shall be deemed to have taken effect on the first day of the, year of making the same: Provided that when the modification is made in any year after the late of publication of public notice under rule 7 it shall have effect only from the succeeding year. 7. Public notice to be issued in respect of levying tax.—The Secretary shall, the building tax is levied for the first time and whenever general revision of the building tax is completed, exhibit a notice in the notice [card of the Panchayat stating that the petitions received in the Panchayat Office within thirty days from the issuance of the public notice shall be considered by the Standing Committee and shall publish it in ..the Panchayat area by means of pamphlets and loudspeaker arid by publishing notification m a daily in the mair regional language having wide circulation in the Panchayat area. 8- Separate individual notices to be given in respect of levying and revising of tax in between two general revisions .—In any case where, in- between two general revisions, the Standing Committee levy tax on a building for the first time or enhance the tax thereof in any manner other than that of general revision, the Secretary shall, by a separate notice, inform the tax payer in respect of such building and shall also intimate that petitions, against such renews,] of tax if received in the Panchayat Office within 15 days from the date of issuance of the notice, shall be considered, by the Standing Committee. . 9. Petition may be filed for remission of tax.—(1) Any person may, at any time, not less than-30 days before the end of any year, request, through a petition, the Standing Committee-for remission of the tax payable by him for the forthcoming year on the ground that the annual rental value of the building on which tax has been levied, has diminished after the last levying or revision of tax thereof. 10. Petitions to be disposed of.—The petitions received under rules 7, 8 and 9 may be-disposed of after giving a reasonable opportunity to the peti- tioner to appear and present his case relating to the petition either in person or through an authorised agent. 11. Petitioner lo be informed of the disposal and of the corrections made in the tax registers.—The Secretary shall, immediately , after the disposal of the petitions, inform the petitioner 01 his authorised agent in writing of the order passed thereon and shall, if necessary cause the tax registers to be corrected and shall issue a bill to him-under rule 12. The changes and difference the tax shall also be recorded in the respective demand register. 12. A-bill to be issued to every tax payer.-—The Secretary shall, after completion of the work of levying or revising tax under rules 6 and 10, issue every tax payer a bill stating,— (a) The amount of tax payable in respect of a building every year till the next general revision under rule 6; (b) description of the building in respect of which tax is to be levied and (c) the last date for the remittance of tax for every half year and the liability incase of default in the remittance thereof. 13. Date on which tax levied takes effect.—(1) The levying of tax made! the Panchayat shall have effect-from the date specified by the Panchayat, its resolution therefore., (2) The general revision shall be deemed to have effect on the fir1 day of the financial year in which notice under rule 7 is published. (3) Any correction made in the tax registers by the Standing Committee under rule 11 shall be deemed to have effect from the first day of the year in which request has been made to revise the tax or appeal has been preferred against the tax. 14. Circumstances wherein tax is levied from the occupier.- — If the owner of a building fails to remit the whole or any part of the building- tax within 1 days after the specified date, the Secretary may require the occupier of such building for the time being to remit the amount within a specified period not less than 15 days. The occupier shall be responsible for remitting such amount and the amount remitted maybe realised from (he owner unCersuH11 action (5) of section 203 of .the Act. 15. Remission of tax in respect of building lying vacant.— (1) If, in a half year, a building ordinarily let out on rent or in possession of the owner him self remained vacant and not let out for a continuous period of sixty days or more, the Standing Committee shall make remission of an amount not exceeding one half of the tax installment as is proportionate to the number of days during which such building remained vacant or not let out in the hall year. (2) Every request on which remission is granted under sub-rule (I) shall be submitted in the half year in respect pf which the request for the remission is sought. (3) (a) A request of such remission snail not be granted under rule 15 Unless the owner, of the building or his agent has given prior notice to the Standing Committee or the purpose as to. (i) that the building is lying vacant and is not let out for rent or (ii).. the building will be vacant and will not be let out from a specified date in a half year mentioned therein, (b) The period in respect of which the remission is granted shall computed (i) from the date of issuance of notice or from the date on which the building remains vacant or not let out or rent, whichever comes later in e half year in respect of which the remission is requested for; (ii) from the commencement of the half year or the date on which the building remains vacant or without being let out on rent which ever comes later if the remission requested is in respect of a half year coming after the issuance of the notice, (c) the period of any notice given under clause (a) in respect of the tax of a half year shall cease at the end of the half year and shall have no thereafter. (4) All remissions made under these rules shall be entered in the emission register specified for the purpose . 16. The transferor of the building and t-he transferee thereof shall give notice Regarding the transfer,—(I) Whenever the person primarily liable to pay tax or any building transfers ownership of the building, such person and the (transferee shall, in the case of registering where the document is to be given in writing or is to be registered, or in the case of transferring where the document is not to be given in writing give the Secretary, notice, in respect of the (transfer within three months after the transfer. (2) In case of death of any person primarily responsible for paying building tax, the person who receives the ownership right by way of inheri- tance or otherwise shall give notice in writing to the Secretary regarding the right 30 received within one year from the date of death of the deceased. (3) The notice under this rule shall be in the form as may be prescribed by the Secretary and the transferee or the person who received ownership, as the case may be, shall, if so required be bound to produce before the Secretary any document evidencing the transfer or succession. (4) Any person who makes the transfer as aforesaid without giving such notice to the Secretary shall continue to be liable to pay the building tax levied on the property transferred, in addition to any other liability which he incurs due to the non issuance of notice, until he issues the notice or until the said transfer-is recorded in the Panchayat registers: Provided that nothing in this rule shall be deemed to affect,— (a) the liability of the transferee to pay the above said tax; or (b) the prior claim of the Panchayat under sub-section (3) of section 203 of the Act. 17. Application for making change in the ownership of the building and the procedure to be followed thereon by the Secretary.—(l)In all cases of transfer of ownership of a building in the tax register of a Panchayat, application for the same shall be submitted in writing and signed by the party or parties. The application may be sent by post or be submitted in person or through an authorised agent. While, making changes in the Tax Registers on any such application, the Secretary shall observe the following provisions, namely:— (a) (i) in all cases where there is absolute transfer of ownership, where both the parties have submitted applications for change in the register and one of the parties is the registered owner, the Secretary shall examine the register and record the transfer forthwith; (ii) 'Where only one of the parties to the transfer makes the application notice shall be issued to other party. If the registered owner is not a party to the transfer and the application for making change in the register has been submitted by both the parties to the transfer or by one of the them, notice shall be issued to the registered owner. (iii) if the registered owner raises objection to the proposed transfer in the register, no change shall be made in-the register unless the person who claims to be the owner produces satisfactory and legal evidence thereof. If one of the parties submits application and the other party raises objection thereof, the Secretary shall, take decision therein, taking into consideration the documents and other evidences. The objection shall be submitted within one month from the date of receipt of the notice from the Secretary. (b) In the case of transfer of ownership of buildings to a decree holder or to a person who receives ownership through an auction sale in execution of the decree of a civil court, the Secretary may, if the decree holder or the person who receives ownership through auction sale submits application and presents certified copy of the, decree or of the sale certificate as the case may be, make change in the Register. (c) In the case of a request for making change in the register on the basis of a declaratory decree, the execution of which is impossible, that is there it is declared by the decree that ownership right is given to a particular person merely for the purpose of giving him the right for registration, the Secretary may, if such certified copy is submitted, make .immediate change in the register. (d) The Secretary may, in the case of transfers by virtue of succession, make change in the register .on the basis of satisfactory evidence. (2) There shall be the right to submit-an appeal before the Panchayat against an order issued by the Secretary making change in the register or .refusing to make change therein. Such appeal shall be filed within thirty days from the date of receipt of the order against which appeal is filed. 18. Obligation of the owner to give notice in advance in respect of the construction, reconstruction or demolition of the building.—(1) (a)- In case a building is con- structed or reconstructed in a. Panchayat area, the owner of the building shall, within fifteen days from the date of completion of construction of the building or of reconstruction thereof or of occupation therein whichever is earlier, give notice thereof to the Secretary; (b) If such date falls within the last two months of a half year, owner shall subject to notice being given under clause (a), be entitled to remission of the whole of the tax instalment or enhanced tax instalment as the case may be payable in respect of the building, for that half year. (c) If such date falls within the first four months of a half year, the owner shall, subject to notice being given under clause (a) be entitled to remis- sion of so much not exceeding a half of the tax instalment or enhanced tax instalment as the case may be, payable in respect of the building for the half year as is proportionate to the number of days in that half year preceding such date: (2) (a) If a building in the Panchayat area is demolished or destro- yed, the owner shall be liable to pay building tax as may be levied, had it, not been demolished or destroyed, till he -gives notice, in this respect, to the Secretary. (b) If such notice is given within the first two months of a, half year, the owner shall be entitled to remission of the whole of the tax instalment payable in respect of such building for the half year. (c) If such notice is given within the last four months of a half year, the owner shall be entitled to remission of so much, not exceeding a half of the tax instalment payable in respect of such building for that half year as is proportionate to the number of days in that half year that suceeds the half year in which the demolition or Destruction is made. 19. Remission of tax in areas which are included or excluded in the middle of a half year.-—(1) If any area is included within a Panchayat area, the owner of every building in such area shall,— (a) If the date of such inclusion falls within the last two months of a half year, not be liable for the instalment of building tax in respect of that half year and (b) if such date falls within the first four months of a half year, be entitled to a remission of so much not exceeding one half of the instalment of building tax payable in respect of the building for that half year as is propor- tionate to the number of days in that half year which preceds such date. (2) If any area is excluded from a Panchayat area the owner of every building therein shall be entitled. (a) if the date of such exclusion falls within the first two months of a half year, to a remission of the whole of the instalment of building tax payable in respect of the building for that half year; and (b) if such date falls within the last four months of a half year, to a remission-of so much not exceeding a half of the installment of building tax payable in respect o£ the building for that half year as is proportionate to the number of days in that half year which succeeds such date. (3) No remission under sub-rule (2) in respect of any building shall be granted unless an application in writing, for such remission is filed before the Standing Committee within three months from the date of exclusion of the area in which the building is situated. 20. Exemption from tax.—Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules, the Panchayat may exempt a person from payment of the whole or any portion of the building tax on the ground of poverty: Provided that the exemption under this rule shall not be for more than one year at a time: Provided further that such exemption shall not be given to persona- whose annual income is three thousand rupees or more. The income certificate in respect of such person, received from the Village Officer concerned shall be considered for determining the income. 21. Service charge is leviable in the case of buildings owned by the Central Govern- ment and exempted from building tax.—A Service charge, on the buildings owned by the Central Government and exempted from tax under Article 285 of the Constitution of India may be levied from the Central Government, subject to the conditions mentioned below,, towards sanitation, water supply scaven- ging, street light and drainage wherever the Village Panchayat has arranged such services. (i) If the services made available to the Central Government buildings or properties situated in a remote place of a Village Panchayat area are same as that of the services made available to a private institution or person., an amount that may be seventy five per cent of the tax collected from the private persons may be levied as service charge from the said Central Government Institutions. (ii) A service charge fixed as mentioned below shall be levied from the Central Government Institutions which acquired self sufficiency by virtue, of the services rendred by the Panchayat or for which the Central Government, themselves have provided any services and which are situated in an area having comparatively high density of population,— (a) if a Central Government Institution situated in a colony area having all modern services has without utilising the services made available, arranged for itself, all services, the service charge leviable from such institutions shall be limited thirty three and one third per cent of the normal building tax. (b) if the Central Government Institutions situated in a colony area having modern services, are utilising only a part of such services, the service charge leviable shall be limited to fifty per cent of the building tax that may normally be leviable from such institutions. (iii) The annual rental value of the Central Government buildings shall be assessed as nine per cent of the capital expenditure. The capital expenditure includes value of the property, expenditure towards the developments made in the property and cost of construction of building. If the details of the capital expenditure is not available, the estimated cost that might have incurred for purchasing the property and for constructing the building as per the current price index or the amount as per the records of accounts maintained for the purpose by the Central Public Works Depart- ment or the department concerned shall be taken as base. 22. Surcharge on building tax,—(1) A Village Panchayat may, after taking a decision by a resolution to charge surcharge for compensating any exceptional expenses incurred by it for any scheme, project or plan, levy a surcharge not exceeding five percent of the building tax levied under section 203 for a prescribed period either from the entire Panchayat area or from any specified region thereof. Provided that more than two such surcharges shall not be levied on the building tax at a time, (2) A surcharge levied .under sub-rule (1 shall be collected after giving % notice as if it were building tax levied under section 203. By order of the Governor, MATHEW G. KUNNUKKAL, Secretary to Government. Explanatory Note (This does not form part of the Notification, but is intended to indicate its general purport.) Sub-section (4) of section 203 and section 208 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (13 of 1994) empower Government to make rules providing for, the manner of assessing the gross annual rental value of buildings, me persons liable to pay tax, issuance of notices of transfer of building, exemption from tax on ground of poverty, the grant of exemptions and other remissions, the levy of surcharge etc. The Government have decided to make rules accordingly. This Notification is intended to achieve the above object.