The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended the notification of a 200 percent increase in property taxes in the federal capital.
The bench further directed the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to collect taxes at the previous rate, stating that the activity is the prerogative of the municipal authority and not the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Last year, a single bench of the IHC had taken up a petition by the Jamaat-e-Islami Naib, Ameer Muhammad Aslam, against an unsolicited increase in property taxes in Islamabad by the MCI and the CDA. Consequently, the court had ordered the concerned authorities not to collect taxes until the next hearing.
The IHC delivered its reserved judgment regarding last year’s petition against the capital’s property tax cases today. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani presided over the court session and directed the MCI to collect taxes at the preexisting taxable rates.
Justice Kayani reiterated that the collection of property tax does not fall under the jurisdiction of the CDA, and is, therefore, a violation according to the court of law.
He also ordered a probe to investigate the amounts that had been collected by the CDA since 2015.
The IHC has also ordered the CDA to return all the property taxes that it had collected in the past and to transfer the amount to the local government.
Additionally, the government and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have maintained valuation tables for properties and associated rates to tax people making black money.
The annulment of the 200 percent increment in property taxes has given some relief to residents of Islamabad.