* Official says five-marla houses will remain exempt from tax
* Says 10-marla houses can be exempted in 2009-2010 budget
* Minister says imported, luxury cars will be taxed heavily
* Says tax on locally assembled, less than 2,000 CC cars will be raised nominally
By Nauman Tasleem
LAHORE: The Punjab government in its 2008-09 budget is planning to double the tax on luxury and studio apartments besides big homes in posh localities, while five-marla houses will not be taxed, sources told Daily Times on Sunday.
Sources said there were proposals to levy heavy tax on imported vehicles and cars of more than 2,000 CC. They said the tax on small and locally assembled cars would be raised nominally. The annual provincial budget will be presented today (Monday) in the Punjab Assembly.
Five-marla houses: Excise and Taxation Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said the government would not impose property tax on five-marla houses.
“Houses in posh localities will be taxed and the tax ratio can be doubled,” he said, adding that there was a grim chance of imposing one-time tax on luxury homes and apartments to earn the government more revenue. He said that though five-marla houses would remain exempt from property tax, but the studio and luxury apartments in posh areas would be taxed heavily.
The minister said, “The poor cannot buy expensive apartments in posh localities, as the price of such apartments is more than Rs 15 million. Keeping in view the values of these accommodations, the government will tax them heavily.”
10-marla houses: Sources in the Excise and Tax Department said the proposal of exempting 10-marla houses from property tax had also been discussed in the pre-budget meetings by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, but there was little chance of exempting these houses from tax this year.
“These houses can be exempted from taxes in the next year’s budget, since this year the government is facing financial problems,” an Excise and Taxation Department official said.
He said the government was also planning to impose tax on the housing societies set up in the suburbs of big cities. The tax assessment procedure will also be improved, he added.
Cars: Rehman said imported and luxury cars would be heavily taxed. “If a car price is Rs 3,000,000 the tax will be Rs 0.5 million,” he said, adding that the tax increase for locally assembled cars or cars of less than 2,000 CC would be nominal. He said that if token tax on an 800 CC car was around Rs 400 it could go to Rs 450 after the budget.
Source: Daily Times, 16/6/2008