Property tax zooms by 60% as AMC effects first hike in 10 yrs

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The BJP-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation hiked the property tax by 60 per cent while clearing the civic body's annual budget for 2013-14 Saturday.

The hike comes after a gap of 10 years.

As per the amended tax rates, the general (property) tax will be levied at Rs 16 per square metre a year on residential properties and Rs 28 per sqm on non-residential properties. At present, the tax is Rs 10 for residential properties and Rs 22 for non-residential properties.

According to sources, the municipal commissioner had suggested doubling the property tax for residential properties and raising it by 80 per cent for non-residential properties.

After the hike, the civic body aims to collect an additional Rs 240 crore annually in property tax and Rs 16.50 crore on account of vehicle tax. The corporation also has plans to levy "property transfer fee" in the coming days, though it was not included in civic budget 2013-14.

The political wing of the civic body increased the size of the budget by Rs 526 crore, taking it to Rs 4,951 crore from the Rs 4,425 crore as proposed by the municipal commissioner.

It has also added Rs 337.15 crore to the revenue expenditure proposals of Rs 1,955 crore, taking the figure to Rs 2,292.15 crore. It has also added Rs 188.85 crore to development spending of Rs 2,470 crore suggested by the commissioner, taking the total to Rs 2,658.85 crore.

The civic body expects to generate Rs 909 crore from octroi grant (unchanged), Rs 500 crore from general (property) tax, Rs 210 crore from water and conservancy tax (unchanged), Rs 115 crore from professional tax (up Rs five crore).

Standing committee chairman Bhupendra Patel said the hike was inevitable since it was postponed year after year for several reasons.

Budget in brief

n The AMC budget has a proposal to develop J P Chowk area as the "city square" at a cost of Rs 2 crore. State BJP headquarters falls in the area.

n Beautification projects in areas like the road from Cama Motors to Gujarat Samachar office and from Lucky Restaurant to Parsi buildings.

n Six new bridges at Helmet Junction, Hatkeshwar Circle, Shyamal Char Rasta, Anjali Char Rasta, Income Tax Circle, near Dinesh Chamber.

n Five new flyovers on 200-feet wide Ring Road on cross roads.

n Gota-Godhavi canal development on lines of Kharicut canal.

n Creating pay-and-park facilities on traffic triangles and open plots.

n New community centres and halls with kitchen facility to meet requirement for social occasions.

n APMC-like markets in east and new west zone areas.

n Widening of level crossings at Cadila, Sardar Gram, Paldi and Naranpura.

n Upgrading of water bodies in new west zone and east zone areas.

n Increasing subsidy to scheme under dust-free city campaign from 60:40 ratio to 80:20 ratio for all private societies, private roads, housing colonies and flats.

n Setting up mini power plants after approval from the standing committee on municipal sites.

n Nagar Darshan Yatra for senior citizens.

n New centre at V S Hospital for stem cell therapy.

n A state-level Woman Expo 2013 at Sabarmati riverfront.

n Development of main roads connecting Sardar Patel Ring Road.

Civic budget anti-people: Opposition

The Opposition Congress has termed the municipal budget for 2013-14 as "anti-people, ridiculous and unrealistic". Opposition Leader Badruddin Shaikh said the ruling had party failed to come up with any concrete proposals for augmenting public facilities He said the actual income from property tax in 2012-13 was Rs 416.57 crore, which was short of the estimated revenue, besides a shortfall of Rs 82.37 crore in state grant in lieu of octroi.

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