ILAM, Oct 24: At a time when local units have come under scrutiny for levying hefty taxes, Ilam Municipality in Province 1 has attempted to mend its ways by reducing tax rates on land and businesses. The local body has also effectively eliminated taxes on street lights and water brigades.
According to Mayor Mahesh Basnet, they reduced tax rate on land after they received feedback that the current tax rate benefits people having large area of land and negatively affects those with small plots of lands.
As per the newly revised tax rate, the municipality would collect Rs 50 per anna of land in ward 7, 8 and 9 if it falls within 25 meters inside the Mechi Highway. Previously, Ilam had levied tax of Rs 90 per anna for the same land.
Likewise, a tax of Rs 30 per anna has been imposed on lands that are within 25 meters to 50 meters from the highway, informed Mayor Basent. Lands that are beyond 50 meters from the highway have to pay tax of Rs 4 per anna. Meanwhile, tax rate in ward 7, which is also the headquarters of Ilam district, has been set at Rs 20 per anna.
The municipality also reduced business tax by 25 percent in ward 1, 3, 4 and 10. The taxes were revised by a revision committee led by ward 5 Chairman and municipal spokesperson Thakur Narayan Shrestha. Members in the committee include ward 7 Chair Naresh Shrestha, ward 4 Chair Nutandev Dulal along with the municipality's working committee members Shyam Kamal Mukhiya and Chitra Maya Gurung. “The committee was formed around two months ago. After they submitted the report upon conducting studies, we decided to reduce the tax rates,” said Mayor Basnet. They also scrapped 20 percent service charge for fire brigades and got rid of taxes on street lights.