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22 October, 2017 01:23:39 AM
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Dhaka property owners protest new holding tax

STAFF REPORTER
Dhaka property owners protest new holding tax

The Bangladesh House and Flat Owners Association (BHFOA) yesterday lodged its protest against the new holding tax which, it claimed, would impose an excess burden on Dhaka residents, as the government has increased the tax by 700 per cent to 900 per cent after 26 years. BHFOA leaders argued that the two City Corporations could increase the tax by 10 to 15 per cent, which was logical and tolerable for all. “The City Corporations could increase the holding tax, which is a normal phenomenon. But it should not be a burden for the owners and tenants,” observed Dr Golam Rahman, former chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), while addressing a roundtable on ‘Unusual increase of holding tax, tariff of gas, water and power and sufferings of city life’, held at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city.

The discussion was moderated by BHFOA president Helal Uddin. The editor of the Daily Bhorer Kagoj, Shyamol Datta, the director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Hafez Harun-or-Rashid, the director of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI), Alauddin Malek, a former Member of Parliament (MP), Abdur Rahim, the general secretary of the Gonotantrik Party, Dr Shadat Hossen, and others addressed the function. An adviser to the BHFOA, Anwar Hossain Badal, made a presentation on the issue.       

Dr Rahman recommended the formation of an independent commission to prepare a policy on how to increase the holding tax through assessments.

“I think an unusual increase in holding tax is not logical and would impact city residents,” he said, adding, “It is clear that the officials of the City Corporations, who are involved in assessment, are corrupt, and want to make money by abusing power.” He also urged that an intensive movement be organised against such malpractices of the city corporation in respect of the hike in holding tax.

Datta said a vested section was likely involved, which wanted to put the government in a spot over the issue of holding tax. “I don’t think the officials would have the courage to unveil an illogical tax increase without the involvement of the higher authorities,” he alleged.

In his presentation, Anwar Hossain Badal said the owner of a building or a plot of land has to pay a tax on the revenue earned from the property. That means the owner has to pay a specific rate of tax from the rent or from the revenue earned by commercially using the property.

The holding tax is based on an annual assessment of the building, complex, or flat. According to Section 20(3) of the 1986 tax law, the tax is determined after deducting the rent of two months from the total income as maintenance costs and also by deducting the annual interest from any loan taken from the Bangladesh House Building Corporation, any listed bank or from any other authorised financial organisation under the ‘registered mortgage deed’, or after deducting 40 per cent of the total rent when the owner is staying in any part of

the property. Land owners had to pay 12 per cent tax under this assessment till now.

In 2000, the owners had to pay 7 per cent tax only on the building. In 2009, this was made 12 per cent by adding 2 percent for waste management and 3 per cent for the street-lights.

He placed a six-point charter of demands on behalf of the BHFOA, including an increase a maximum of 15 per cent holding tax, ensuring undisrupted gas and power connections and stopping unusual power bills.

IK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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