Increase in property tax by WCBL annoys residents

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AMRAIZ KHAN

Cantonment Boards all over the country have hiked up Property Tax on civilian residents but Walton Cantonment Board Lahore (WCBL) is in the lead by levying highest PT in Punjab.

Reassessment of Property Tax has been done arbitrarily, in violation of past practices and tax levied. There is discrimination in calculating and levying PT within DHA and other parts of Lahore with almost same market value.

WCB have raised the DC Value of land in DHA by only 20%, while PT has been hiked to almost 300 to 400%. Logically the PT should have raised by either 20% or by the State Bank official inflation rate. The DC Value raise by mere 20% would facilitate Property Sales tax due on sale purchase of plots.

There is no correlation to Property Tax levied by LDA in other posh housing societies of Lahore like Model Town, Gulberg, Johar Town etc. and PT levied on citizens residing in their self owned houses within DHA and WCB.

The WCB has also increased Conservancy Charges for DHA Phase 1 to 5. Conservancy charges are supposed to be levied by universities or organizations involved in protecting environment, trees and greenery, although whole of DHA was built on land which was once agricultural land. Residents of DHA Lahore Phase 1 to Phase 5 are shocked by unilateral increase in Property Tax ranging from 300% to 400% as compared to the tax levied in the previous year 2021.

Even self-owned self-occupied houses in DHA Lahore Phase 1 to Phase 5 have been levied this astronomical rise. The anomaly is that DHA Phase 6 residents have been exempted from this hike in PT, because they do not fall in the jurisdiction of WCB.

There is no uniformity in PT levied on houses built within DHA Lahore. There has been no consideration even for Tax Filers.

While a newly built 500 sq yds residential self-owned house in Phase 6 has been levied Rs 15,000, those living in a 500 sq yds 25 year old house in Phase 3 has been levied PT of over Rs70,000, which in the previous year was Rs 22,000 to Rs25000.

The Cantonment Board has not extended any relief to even senior citizens above 70 years who paid taxes all their life and now expected the Federal Government to provide special concessions to them, as is the practice in other countries.

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