IMNA reported on the announcement of the tax last fall, after the Mudon TPDC called meetings in the Mudon Township villages of Young Doung, Hnee padaw and Kwan hlar, where villagers were informed that homeowners in the villages in question, who had construct their houses between 2007 and 2009, were required to pay a housing tax; the tax collection was never carried out with any consistency.
IMNA’s reporters have now learned that the Mudon TPDC has decided to follow through with the new-house tax, and has extended the tax to include all of Mudon Township’s 42 villages; homes built in 2010 will also be taxed. The collection, which began on March 25th of this year, reportedly incited chaos, as many Mudon villagers flatly refused to pay the fees, while others claimed that the tax had already been collected from them.
“They [the TPDC chairmen] came on March 25th, at first the village headman tried to collect it [the tax], but the villager couldn’t pay it. That’s why when they came to take it nobody paid on that day, so they [the chairmen] have changed the date [for tax collection] again, they will collect it next month but have not given an exact date” said a Mudon resident, who requested that the name of his village be withheld.
This source informed IMNA that owners of homes built between 2007 and 2010 in each of Mudon Township’s 42 villages must pay housing taxes for their new residences ranging from 200,000 kyat to 500,000 kyat; the tax variations depend on the size and building materials of the houses in question.
“They ordered the villagers to pay the tax on March 25th , but some house owners said already paid, some haven’t paid yet, now they have changed the dates again” a second Mudon Township resident, who also asked that the name of his village be withheld, explained.
“In our village, they already collected it [the tax], it is depends the house. For a two story house, the owner has to pay about 450,000 kyat, for a one story house the owner has to pay about 300,000 kyat. The houses built with wood have to pay about 200,000 kyat, the orders came from the village headman,” he added.
The tax collection has caused widespread concern in Mudon Township; home owners whose villages were never included in the original tax are suddenly struggling to find sufficient funds; villagers who’d hoped that the TPDC had forgotten or abandoned its taxation plans are concerned about scraping together enough cash after the past year’s unproductive agricultural seasons.
“This is didn’t happen before, it is the first time for the house tax [in our village], the house owners who have enough money, they can pay, but some house owners have no more money. How can they pay? This tax may be a problem for poor families” a Hnee padaw villager reported.