Property Tax

233, Description and classes of property tax,—

(1) Where a Council of a Municipality by a resolution  determines to levy property tax, such tax shall unless, exempted by or under this Act or any other law, be levied on all buildings and lands within the municipal area.

(2) The property tax under sub-section (1) may comprise of a tax for general purposes and a service tax and the service tax may comprise of 

(i) a water and drainage tax to provide for expenses connected with the construction, maintenance, repair, extension or improvement of water or drainage work heretofore provided or hereafter to be provided.

(ii) a lighting tax to provide for expenses connected with the lighting of the municipal area by gas, electricity or any other means;

(iii) a sanitary tax to provide for expenses connected with the general sanitation of the municipal area and the removal of rubbish, filth and carcasses of animals from the private premises.

(3) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, these taxes shall be levied at such percentage of the annual value of buildings or lands which are occupied by or adjacent and appurtenant to buildings or both as may be fixed by the Council:Provided that the aggregate of the percentage so fixed shall not be less than a9[six percent] and more than twenty per cent in the case of a Town Panchayat, 49[nine percent] and twenty five percent in the case of a Municipal Council and 49( twelve percent] and twenty five per cent in case of Municipal Corporation of the annual value of all buildings, or lands, which are occupied by or adjacent and appurtenant to buildings or both and that the different components of tax shall not be less than the following minimum rates namely :

Minimum rates  

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                                             Town             Municipal                    Municipal

                                            Panchayat         Council                   Corporation

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(i) Tax for general purposes    50[4%]              5%                                 52[6%]

(ii) Lighting tax                     50[1%]              2%                                   2%

(iii) Drainage tax                                                                                  2%

(iv) Water tax                                                                                     1%

(v) Sanitary tax                   1%                   51[2%]                           52[2%]

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Provided further that where water tax and drainage tax are levied, the Council shall declare what proportion of tax is levied in respect of water works and the remainder shall be deemed to be levied in respect of drainage works and the proportion so declared shall also be specified in the notification under section 232.

32A[(4)The Municipal Council shall in the case of land used exclusively for agricultural purposes and which is more than one hectare in extent, levy, these taxes on its annual value, excluding one hectare therefrom, at such percentage as may be fixed by it: 

49. Substituted for the words "eight per cent", "ten per cent"  and "fifteen per cent" respectively by

Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

50. Substituted for "5%", "2%" respectively by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

51. Substituted for "3%" by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

52. Substituted for "7%", "3%" respectively by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

52A  Inserted by Act 8 Of 1995.

Provided that such percentage shall not exceed the maximum, if any, fixed by Government.

Explanation.— For the purpose of this section the annual value of land shall be deemed to be the total annual rent which can be reasonably be expected if it is leased out from year to year.]

53[(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) and sub-section (4) the minimum property tax to be given for a half year shall be twenty five rupees in the case of a Town Panchayat or a Municipal Council and fifty rupees in the case of a Municipal Corporation.]

234, Method of assessment of property tax.

(1) Every building shall be assessed together with its site and other adjacent premises occupied as an appurtenance thereto unless the owner of the building is a different person from the owner of such site or premises.

54{(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965 (2 of 1965) or any other Jaw for the time being in force, for the purpose of assessing the property tax, it shalJ be assessed in the prescribed manner on the basis of the annuaJ value of any buildings and lands adjacent to it, the importance of area where the building is situated, type of the building construction, method of use, plinth area, reasonable annuaJ maintenance cost etc. and the tax shall be determined for the said building and land at the rate fixed by the Council under sub-section(3) of Section 233:

Provided that from the property tax assessed in such manner, property tax shall be fixed by allowing the deduction at the rate of ten per cent to buildings above ten years and upto twenty years old, twenty per cent to buildings above twenty years and upto fifty years old and twenty-five percent to buildings above fifty years old,

(3) In the case of a building given for the use of another person upon rent or on such other condition by the owner, the property tax shall be assessed by adding with it an amount equal to twenty-five per cent of the assessed tax under sub-section (2).

(4). The Government may make rules regarding the person by whom and the intervals at which the  annual value of buildings, the deduction or addition in the tax to be made etc,, is to be determined and the procedure for the realisation of tax amount.]

235. Exemption.— (1) The following buildings and lands shall be exempt from the property tax:

(a) places set apart for public worship, and either actually so used or used for no other purpose;

(b) buildings used extensively for public worship;

(c) Choultries for the occupation of which no rent is charged and choultries where the rent charged for the occupation is used exclusively for charitable purpose; 

(d) buildings recognised by the Government or registered with the Municipality under this Act and owned and occupied by educational institutions and used only for teaching and libraries open to public. 

(e) ancient monuments protected under the law relating to the preservation of ancient monuments applicable to the State for the time being in force, or part thereof, as are not used as residential quarters or as public offices;

(f) burial and burning grounds included in the register kept at the office of the Municipality under section 486;

(g) buildings or lands belonging to the Municipality;

53. Sub-section (5) added by Act 14 of 1999. w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

54. Sub-section (2) & (3) substituted by sub-sections (2), (3) & (4) by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999

(h) such property of Government not being buildings, as may from time to time be notified by the Government; and

(1) public building and places used for charitable purposes of sheltering the distitutes or animals.

35[(j) Building with mud walls or roof thatched with leaves or light weight sheet and having a plinth; area of less than twenty Sq,metre ;

(k) Residential building constructed by a person who belongs to economically weaker section, using

Government subsidy and having a plinth area of less than twenty Sq. metre.] 

Explanation.— The exemption granted under the section shall not extend to buildings and lands

for which rent is realised by the owners thereof and to residential quarters attached to schools and colleges not being hostels or residential quarters attached to hospitals, dispensaries and libraries.

(2) A Municipality may, with the previous sanction of the Government exempt any particular part of the Municipal area from the payment of the whole or a portion of the water and drainage tax or of the lighting tax on the ground that such area is not deriving full benefit from the water supply and drainage scheme or from the lighting system.

(3) A Municipality may exempt any building or land from the whole or any portion of the sanitary tax if it is satisfied that the owner or occupier has made efficient and satisfactory arrangements for the daily removal therefrom of rubbish, filth and carcasses of animals.

(4) 56[x x x x ]

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, in the case of properties exempted from property tax under "[sub section (1)], the Municipality shall be entitled to claim the cost of services covered by the service taxes.

236. Taxation to be uniform.— The rate of any class of property tax on lands when levied on their annual value under sub-section (3) of section 233 may be lower than the rate of the same class of property tax on buildings, but either rate shall be uniform throughout the municipal area on all buildings or on lands liable to be so taxed on their annual value, as the case may be.

237. Property tax, first charge on property.— The property tax on buildings and lands shall, subject to the prior payment of land revenue, if any, due to the Government thereon, be a first charge upon the said buildings or lands and upon the movable property, if any, found within or upon the same and belonging to the person liable to such tax.

238. Revision and time of payment of property tax.— Subject to the rules made by Government the property tax shall be assessed and the half-yearly tax determined 58[once in every four years] and the half-yearly tax shall be payable by the owner of the assessed property within thirty days of the commencement of each half-year:

Provided that except in the case of substantial improvements or addition to an existing building since the last assessment, the annual value of any building shall not exceed the limit, if any, fixed by the

Government from time to time.

55. Clause (j) & (k) added by Act 14 of 1999. w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

56.Sub-section (4) omitted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

57. Substituted for "sub-sections (1) and (4)" by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

59[Provided that revision of tax after the date of first April 1998, shall come into force on the date

fixed by the Government.]

239. Vacancy remission.— ( 1) When any building whether ordinarily let or occupied by the owner himself has been vacant and unlet for a half-year, the owner shall be entitled to a remission of tax for that half-year.

(2) If the owner had already paid the tax in respect of a half-year in which a remission is due, he shall be entitled to get either refund or shall be entitled to get the amount adjusted in the tax for the succeeding half-year.

(3)(a) No such remission shall be admissible unless the owner of the building or his agent has previously thereto delivered notice to the Secretary-

(i) that the building is vacant and un let, or

(ii) that the building will be vacant and un let from a specified date either in the half-year in

which notice is delivered or in the succeeding half-year.

(b) Every notice under clause (a) shall expire with the half-year succeeding the half-year during which it is so delivered and shall have no effect thereafter.

240. Obligation of transferor and transfere to give notice, of transfer.— (l)Whenever the title of any person primarily liable to the payment of property tax on any premises to or over such premises is transferred, the person whose title is transferred and the person to whom the same shall be transferred shall, within three months after the execition of the instrument of transfer or after its registration if it be registered or, after the transfer is effected, if no instrument be executed, give notice of such transfer to the Secretary.

(2) In the event of the death of any person primarily liable as aforesaid, the person to whom the title of the deceased shall devolve, as heir or otherwise, shall give written notice of such transfer to the Secretary within one year from the date of death of the deceased.

(3) The notice to be given under this section shall be in such form as the Secretary may specify and the transferor, and the transferee or in the case of death of a person, the person to whom the title passes, as the case may be, shall if so required, be bound to produce before the Secretary any documents evidencing the transfer or succession.

(4) Every person who makes a transfer as aforesaid without giving such notice to the Secretary shall, in addition to any other liability which, he may incur for such failure, be liable for the payment of property tax assessed on the premises so transferred until he gives notice or until the transfer is recorded in the registers of the Municipality, but nothing in this section shall be held to affect-

(a) the liability of the transfere for the payment of the said tax, or

(b) the prior claim of the Municipality under section 237.

241. Owner's obligation to give notice of construction, reconstruction or demolition of building.— (l)(a) If a building is constructed or reconstructed in a Municipal area the owner shall give notice thereof to the Secretary within fifteen days from the date of completion or occupation of the building, whichever is earlier.

(b) If such date falls within the last two months of a half-year, the owner shall subject to notice being given under clause(a), be entitled to a remission of the whole of the tax or enhanced lax, as the case may be, payable in respect of the building only, for that half-year.

58. Substituted for "once in every five years" by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

59. Proviso added for by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

(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 a remission of so much not exceeding a half of the tax or enhanced tax, as the case may be, payable in respect of the building only for that half-year, as is proportionate to the number of days in that half-year preceding such date.

(2)(a) If any building in a municipal area is demolished or destroyed, the owner shall, until notice thereof is given to the Secretary, be liable for the payment of the property tax which would have been leviable had the building not been demolished or destroyed.

(b) If such notice, is given within the first two months of a half-year the owner shall be entitled to a remission of the whole of the tax payable in respect of the building only; 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 a remission of so much not exceeding a half of the tax payable in respect of the building only, for that half-year, as is proportionate to the number of days in that half-year, succeeding the demolition or destruction, as the case may be.

242. Assessment of building constructed unlawfully.— (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the rules made there under, where any person has unlawfully constructed or reconstructed any building, such building shall, without prejudice to any action that may be taken against that person, be liable to tax from the date of completion or occupation whichever is earlier till the date of demolition of that building.

(2) Nothing contained in sub-section(l) shall preclude the Secretary from proceeding against such person under section 406 of the Act and the owner shall not be entitled to any compensation or damages due to any action taken by the Secretary under this section.

243. Remission of tax in areas included or excluded in the middle of a half-year.—

(1) Where any area is included within a municipal area the owner of every building or land in such area shall -

(a) if the date of such inclusion falls within the last two months of a half-year, not be liable to pay

property tax in respect for 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 tax not exceeding half of the property tax payable in respect thereof for that half-year, as is proportionate to the number of days in that half-year preceding such date.

(2) Where any area is excluded from a municipal area, the owner of every building or land in such area 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 property tax payable in respect thereof 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 tax not exceeding a half of the property tax payable in respect thereof for that half year, as is proportionate to the number of days in that half-year succeeding such date.

(3) No remission shall be granted under sub-section(2) in respect of any building or land unless an application in writing for such remission is made to the Secretary within three months from the date of exclusion of the area in which the building or land is situated.

244. Secretary's power to call for information and to enter upon premises.—

(1) For the purpose of assessing property tax, the Secretary may, by notice, cal 1 upon the owner or occupier of any land or building to furnish him, within thirty days after the service of the notice where the notice is served upon the Government or a company and within fourteen days after such service in other cases, with returns of the rent payable for the land or building, the cost of erecting the building and the measurements of the land and building, and with such other information as the Secretary may require; and every owner and occupier on whom such notice is served shall be bound to comply with it and to make a true return to the best of his knowledge or belief.

(2) For the purpose of sub-section(l), the Secretary may, alter giving twenty four hours notice to the owner or the occupier, enter, inspect, survey and measure such building or land.