Tough Ask: Rs 350-cr tax target: Uphill task ahead of civic agency

In the quest to achieve its Rs 350-crore tax target, the Property department of North civic agency faces an uphill task. The civic agency had increased property tax and parking rates as part of its initiative to increase revenue.

Councillors have objected to sending property tax notices to residents of JJ Colony, resettlement colonies and slums. Councillors from BJP and Congress objected to the department's notices to residents of such colonies.

"These people live in slums and resettlement colonies and are not supposed to be paying property tax. When we were in power, we never asked them to pay tax. Even senior citizens are served property tax notices these days," Mukesh Goel, leader of Opposition, North Municipal Corporation, said.

MSA Khan, assessor and collector, North corporation, said there is a special provision for these colonies. "According to the provision, the corporation can charge them money for services provided to the colonies. The tax charged is legal. We are not levying service tax, which is 75 per cent of property tax, on exempted properties," Khan said.

Another hitch is that there is confusion over the number of properties on which tax can be charged. According to data obtained by the corporation, there were almost 16 lakh properties in the corporation's jurisdiction. But the corporation found that there was duplicity in records and the actual number of properties may be close to 10 lakh. The proposed increase in base rate and rate of tax on properties may not be approved by the councillors.

"We are trying to take steps in the legal direction. We want councillors to help us achieve our targets," a senior official at the corporation said.

Standing Committee chairperson Yogendra Chandolia said, "We had promised people that we won't place any extra burden on them. We will ensure that we collect tax from all taxable properties."

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