PMC increases property tax by 6% from April
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The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Wednesday increased the property tax after a gap of four years. Corporators at PMC standing committee meeting on Wednesday gave their nod to hike property tax by 6 per cent for financial year 2013-14.
The civic administration had proposed 8 per cent hike, arguing that it was necessary to increase the revenue from taxes considering the rising expenditure in development projects and civic facilities. The civic administration had recently tabled its budget estimate of Rs 3,605 crore hoping for a nod to increase the property tax. Later, the number was brought down to 6 per cent.
"We decided to go for the property tax hike to ensure there was no shortage of funds for development projects," said Baburao Chandere, chairman of standing committee after the special meeting convened for discussing the tax hike proposal.
There has been no hike in property tax rate in last four years, he said, adding that the replacement of octroi with local body tax (LBT) will also have impact on revenue collection as no one knows whether it be able to contribute the amount equivalent to that of octroi collection.
MNS leader Rajendra Wagaskar said it was necessary for a hike in property tax. "The MNS leaders proposed an amendment of keeping the hike to 6 per cent instead of eight as proposed by the civic administration and it was approved," he added.
The civic administration's 8 per cent hike plan would have led to an increase of Rs 52 crore of revenue to PMC, but the 6 per cent hike would bring the estimated increase in revenue collection to Rs 40 crore.
BJP leader Srinath Bhimale said his party was the only one to oppose the hike in property tax while all others voted in favour of it. "The rising cost of essential commodities has put financial burden on citizens and the property tax rate hike would further increase the burden," he said.
The corporators asked the civic administration to increase the staff for property tax department so that the PMC is able to bring the left out properties in tax net. "There are at least around 30 per cent properties that are not assessed by property tax department and the civic body is losing revenue due to this," they said, adding, additional staff would help in finding such properties for taxation and will thus increase the PMC revenue.
However, the PMC would continue the discounts provided to property owners who pay property tax in advance and also those who occupy the property themselves. The tax rebate also continues for those implementing eco-friendly initiative of vermiculture composting, rainwater harvesting, solar light.