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Police foil house owners’ Ctg City Corpn office gherao

Holding tax crisis deepens in port city

Urban issues 2023-03-15, 9:11pm


Ctg City Corpn authorities locked up the gate before the siege programme by house owners on Wednesday, Photo collected.

Jehangir Hussain 

Chattogram, Mar 15: The police on Wednesday foiled the bid to gherao the Chattogram City Corporation office by holding owners in protest against introduction of new holding tax assessment system.

Holding owners described the system oppressive

The CCC authorities issued notice to the owners of the building to pay their holding tax as per decision taken in 2017-18 fiscal by former Mayor AJM Nasiruddin.

The CCC has divided the entire city areas into eight revenue circles in order to realise the holding tax.

Earlier, the LGRD Ministry at a meeting held in January, 2022 decided to withdraw order of suspension of the previous re-assessment process of the City Corporation.

According to CCC and holding owners, the holding tax on the basis of area of of the holdings will be effective now. The assessment on the basis of rent has now been stopped.

But CCC management said that the aggrieved building owners may file appeal as per law.

Meanwhile, the CCC has reassessed tax in 2017-18 fiscal for 1,85,248 holdings in the city.

As per their reassessment, total holding tax was fixed at Tk  851.30 crore.

But the total holding tax according to the previous  system was nearly Tk 132 crore.

For this reason, the city people appealed to the LGRD Ministry for suspension of the decision and the Ministry responded to the peoples demand.

Since then holding tax realisation remained suspended.

But on January 18, 2022, the LGRD Ministry withdrew the suspension order.

Accordingly, the CCC management has begun realising holding tax for fiscal 2022-23.

At its 14th general meeting held on March 22, 2022,  revived its previous assessment system for 2022-23 fiscal.

Meanwhile, CCC officials began ‘Five-yearly Tax Evaluation Programme,’ under City Corporation Rules 1986 and local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009.

The assessment was completed on August 31 of the same year which was approved by the general meeting.

The total number of holdings in the port city  increased to 185,248 as per new assessment and the total amount of collectable holding tax increased to Tk 851.30 crore from Tk 132 crore. 

Earlier, owners  paid holding tax according to per square foot of their structures.

The city corporation has introduced a new rule, according to which tax will be assessed on the basis of rent of an establishment. 

Under the new rules, the amount of collectible holding tax has increased manifold, causing sufferings to house owners.

Meanwhile, holding owners have formed  ‘Chattogram Tax payer protection Council (Kordata Surokkha Parishad)’ in protest against the new  holding tax assessment rules.

The holding tax issue has created a tense situation in the city. 

The late ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and AJM Nasir Uddin, the then President and General Secretary respectively of Chattogram City Awami League had got embroiled in heated debates on the issue of holding tax.

During his tenure as Mayor, AJM Nasir Uddin had imposed the holding tax on the city people.

Meanwhile, ‘Chattogram Tax payer protection Council (Kordata Surokha Parishad) gheraoed CCC Office on Wednesday in protest against the what they called oppressive holding tax.

In response, the CCC authorities locked the main gate at 9 am on Wednesday and as a result, CCC officials and employees could not enter their office since 10 am.

The CCC management also deployed law enforcing agency members surrounding the office. The police did not allow anybody to enter into CCC office.

When the tax payers leaders arrived  at around 11 am, the police allowed four of them to present a memorandum to the CCC Chief Executivef CCC regarding the Holding tax.