Sindh High Court says collecting property tax by Cantonment Boards is not allowed

In Karachi, Bol News reports that the Sindh High Court (SHC) has deemed the collection of property tax by cantonment boards as illegal. This decision came in response to a petition challenging the property tax collection, with representation from the boards’ lawyers during the court proceedings.

The petitioner’s legal counsel contended that, post the 18th Amendment, cantonment boards lack the authority to collect property taxes. Notices were served to various shops on December 4, 2018, setting the deadline for property tax submissions the following day. Subsequently, on December 31, 2018, the Cantonment issued a demand notice, initiating property tax collection in January 2019.

Arguing that property tax collection is not permissible under Article 142 of the Constitution, the petitioner’s counsel pointed out that the 18th Amendment abolished the Concurrent List and Fourth Schedule, stripping cantonment boards of the authority to impose toll fees and property taxes.

Following the arguments, the court ruled the collection of property tax by cantonment boards as illegal. The court asserted that residents have the right to retrieve taxes collected by the boards under the 18th Amendment. However, at the request of the cantonment boards’ lawyer, the court temporarily suspended the execution of the decision for three days.

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