West Bengal Valuation Board (A Statutory Body under Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal)
Aims and Objectives
The West Bengal Valuation Board was constituted after enactment of the West Bengal Central Valuation Board Act, 1978 to bring about an uniform and rational system of valuation of municipal properties throughout the State, which is why the word "Central" was used.
A Central Valuation authority arguably is able to gather more professional expertise in a single place, and develop better property tax administration for determining the property tax for urban property.
Since the Act did not outline detailed procedure, in the initial years studies were undertaken and seminars arranged to pinpoint methodology. Staff recruitment guidelines had to be evolved, and then recruitment undertaken and training organised. Actual valuation work commenced in 1986 after sorting out certain structural and legal bottlenecks.
The activities of the Board are as follows: -
- To undertake valuation work of lands and buildings in specified ULBs notified by the State Government in the five years cycle
- Interim valuation for the re-constructed or substantially altered existing structure or new construction between two consecutive general valuation
- To apply scientific and objective methods for the purpose of valuation work throughout the State
- To interact with ULBs as the exercise of survey and valuation is undertaken through mutual understanding and friendly partnership basis.
- To help ULBs attain financial solvency through a rational municipal taxation system, which would consequently lead ULBs to become self reliant to the extent possible, without excessive dependence on financial assistance from the State Govt.;
- To remove confusion and doubt from the mind of tax-payer by ensuring fair assessment based on scientific and appropriate methodology.
- To extend advice and assistance to the ULBs in litigations / contesting in the matter of valuation of holdings for municipal assessment.
- To render training / capacity building to the Staff of ULBs in the matter of assessment and collection of Property Tax.
- To render help and assistance to ULBs in determining service charges payable by Union Govt. Offices properties within any specified ULB.
Last but not least, there lie the most important issues about the methodology of property tax determination. Sometimes it happens that collections are not cost effective proposition. For upgrading the system of collection point through banks, and introducing other simplification measures for collection etc. the Board recommended some guidelines to the Govt. in conformity with the terms and reference offered by the committee constituted by the Government.
Implementation of any system change would entail organizational restructuring entailing capacity development and training being necessitated immediately for better run.