Orders survey to hike property tax collection to Rs3.63b
The collection of property tax has been devolved to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and District Municipal Corporations in the city, this was ordered by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during a meeting the Chief Minister House on Tuesday.
The chief minister also moved to form a ministerial committee to work out the devolution mechanism.
The meeting, held to discuss and approve the World Bank-sponsored Modernization of Urban Property Tax Administration and System, was also attended by provincial Minister Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Minister Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Principal Secretary to the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary investment Zahid Abbasi, Secretary Local Government Najam Shah and other officers concerned.
Under the World Bank’s project, Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project (CLICK), there is a component of Modernizing Urban Property Tax Administration and System to be executed for $0.4 million for identifying and digitization of under-assessed and un-assessed properties records to increase the tax base coverage, consequently, improving the revenue collection of the property tax in the city.
The project includes procurement/development of a robust Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) system to effectively identify and tax urban properties in Karachi and to strengthen the capacity of Excise and Taxation department on modernization UIPT collection, including HR strengthening through trainings and provision of infrastructure keeping in view long-term sustainability. Under the project, UIPT survey will be conducted to collect quality data on an estimated two million properties of Karachi.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the Urban Immovable Property survey would improve the tax base and the GIS component would help urban planning authorities to plan and execute sustainable infrastructure. It would, he said, automate the property tax assessment and printing of challans. It would also help in providing a GIS mapping framework for the identification of all parcels and buildings.
Shah said that in 2021, only 800,000 property units were being taxed for property and this number increased to 947,424 while after a fresh survey, the number of units increased by 111 percent to 2 million.
Murad Ali Shah said that at present, property tax amounting to Rs1.72 billion was being collected from Karachi and after the survey, its collection was expected to increase to Rs3.63 billion.
Directing the Sindh minister for local government and minister for excise to sit with the Chief Secretary and evolve a mechanism to devolve the property tax to the KMC and DMCs.
“Let them collect themselves and utilise (this amount for) the development of the city,” he categorically said.
The CM approved to carry out an All-Karachi properties survey to update the property tax database in addition to approving the development and upgradation of Information Technology System to house the property tax database and provide related training.
He also called for strengthening local bodies and excise and taxation staff capacity in connection with property administration.