Fees and taxes: Samdrupjongkhar thromde will now apply a revised building plant processing fee according to the development control regulations (DCR) 2007.

This means building owners will have to pay the fees based on the area irrespective of size of the building instead of paying only Nu 1,000.

Nu 1,000 was paid as one-time payment based on the number of stores as per the taxation policy 1992. Two years ago, thromde tshogde members decided to apply Nu 1,500 for ground floor and Nu 1,000 for others.

Head of the development regulatory division, Wangda, said that as per the revised fees building owners will have to pay Nu 30 per square metre for the residential and institutional building, Nu 50 per square metre for commercial, and Nu 16.14 per square metre as scrutiny fees.

The building plant processing fees is a one-time fee, which includes services and amenities and scrutiny fees. Other fees will remain same.

“Although the fees are revised, we’re just levying the tax what’s already in the DCR because it was never implemented in Samdrupjongkhar,” he said. “We’ll first inform the public through tshogde members before implementing the new fees.”

This decision comes at a time when the thromde is exploring ways to address the issue of the thromde’s financial sustainability.

Thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal earlier said that the thromde will not be able to achieve financial sustainability based on the tax rate of 1992, which is comparatively low.

The thromde proposed that besides reviewing tax, it will also revise other taxes and fees and impose parking fees, fees for market sheds and sewerage connection charges. This was done because the thromde could not meet the current expenditure through its internal revenue.

The Prime Minister during mid-term review asked the thromde to discuss the issue of revenue generation and submit it to the finance ministry.

The thrompon said that although the thromde’s proposal is yet to be submitted, tshogde members have by and large agreed on the revision of taxes and fees.

“Implementation of revised building plant processing fees will definitely contribute to the revenue generation,” the thrompon said.

Wangda said there would obviously be differences in the revenue collection because the thromde in the past generated about Nu 5,500 from an average building. Now, though, revenue collection will be almost Nu 15,000 on an average.

Meanwhile, the thromde is building a database of all buildings, street names and property details.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar