VMC proposes steep hike in property tax, water charges
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Presenting the budget for 2013-14 of the civic body, the Vadodadra municipal commissioner proposed a hike of 82 per cent in property tax and 41 per cent increase in water charges besides introducing 'streetlight tax' in his draft budget on Thursday.
In the draft budget presented before the standing committee, commissioner Ashwini Kumar proposed to increase property tax on domestic assets from present Rs 11 per square metre (sqm) to Rs 20. Similarly, he proposed to increase tax on commercial property from Rs 26 sqm to Rs 32, up by 23 per cent.
"Through this, the general tax collection in form of conservancy and sewerage taxes will go up by Rs 50.6 crore," Kumar said in his speech.
The executive wing also proposed to hike annual water charges for households from Rs 850 to Rs 1,200. At the same time, the commissioner also proposed to double the annual cleaning charges from Rs 25 to Rs 50 for households. The civic body would collect additional Rs 16 crore and Rs 5 crore respectively from the rise in the twin charges.
Though VMC's joint venture company (JVC) with the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) for distributing piped cooking gas in the city is expected to be operational soon, the commissioner proposed an increase of 20 per cent in the gas price.
"To make the operations of gas distribution sustainable, we have proposed to increase the price of LPG from present Rs 15.84 per unit to Rs 18.99 for households and from Rs 25.03 to Rs 35.05 for commercial users. On the other hand, we propose to bring down the minimum charges from Rs 317 (23 units) to Rs 247 (15 units) for domestic customers," Kumar said at his post-budget press conference.
In another significant move, the commissioner proposed to introduce streetlight tax.
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