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Next target: Rs 1,228 crore property tax arrears

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The Times of India      12.04.2017

Next target: Rs 1,228 crore property tax arrears

HYDERABAD: Despite a windfall in property tax collections in the 2016-17 financial year, over two lakh tax payers have not paid property tax to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in the year in question.

According to official figures, piled up property tax arrears at the GHMC amount to Rs 1,228 crore including interest on tax arrears. Of this amount, the highest arrears of over Rs150 crore has to come from Khairtabad circle (10B) that covers upmarket areas such as Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills. The other areas from where arrears are due include Secunderabad, Abids and Old City (Charminar) areas.

The GHMC tax wing that gives red notices to the general public and warns people of seizing movable and auctioning immovable properties under the Revenue Recovery Act has not been able to collect tax arrears from about 10,000 top defaulters.

While admitting to the huge arrears, GHMC chief valuation officer Geetha Radhika said the actual arrears could be lesser as properties lying vacant and properties razed during road widening need to be removed from the list of defaulters."Public sector undertakings such as HAL have not been paying the amount due to financial problems," the chief valuation officer said.

During the 2016-17 financial year that ended on March 31, the municipal corporation had collected about Rs1,250 crore from about 12.85 lakh owners (assessments) against total assessments of 14.80 lakh in Greater Hyderabad. Nearly 20,000 tax payers who paid their taxes last year skipped this year due to various reasons such as no waiver of interest on the tax amount.

For instance, in Qutubullapur circle, while about 64,136 people had remitted their property tax during last year 2015-16, this has come down with 60, 159 properties making their payments.Similarly , in Kapra circle, in 2015 56, 786 paid their tax amount and it has come down to 51, 859 in the recently concluded fiscal. In one of the biggest circles, Secunderabad, against 1.10 tax payers in 2015-16, 1.07 lakh paid their taxes this year.

In some circles, the number of tax payers has come down but the revenue collection either remains the same or slightly higher due to new tax assessments. Though officials claim bountiful collections, reasons for good collections include Rs200 crore tax collection during demonetization period as the civic body accepted old currency notes. Nearly 1.8 lakh people paid their tax dues to the corporation with old notes during the demonetization scheme. Interestingly , the number of tax payers crossed 10 lakh since last year after the government announced a nominal Rs 101tax for people who had been paying Rs1,200 as tax every year.

"Property tax dues are more in upmarket areas such as Khairtabad. This is due to the circle having more number of court cases and vacant land taxes dues. Verification of each property has to be done to ascertain the properties and dues. The property tax on the vacant land can be collected while giving building permissions," deputy municipal commissioner K Satyanarayana told TOI.

VMC’s move to collect one-time settlement of property tax dues flayed

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The New Indian Express       11.04.2017 

VMC’s move to collect one-time  settlement of property tax dues flayed 

VIJAYAWADA: The Taxpayers Association has strongly opposed the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) move of circulating pamphlets allegedly threatening residents to pay property tax through one-time settlement for the 2017-18 fiscal.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, association secretary M V Anjaneyulu alleged that soon after the completion of the  fiscal year, the cash-strapped VMC was “over ambitious” to collect the property tax through one-time settlement. 

Tax Payers Association secretary
M V Anjaneyulu during a media
conference in Vijayawada on Monday | Express

The decision will affect the poor and middle class in the city. He pointed that the civic body has been violating the Section 264 of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Act 1955, which clearly states that taxes can be payable by the residents in advance either in half-yearly or in quarterly instalment.

Anjaneyulu also took a dig at the indifferent attitude of the VMC for not initiating action against the ruling TDP leaders whose names are listed as tax defaulters by the civic body officials. Not even a single notice has been served on them. At the same time, the civic body is evolving plans to burden the common people, he added.

“If the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is really committed to the development of the city, first it should serve notices and initiate action against the ruling party leaders,” he dared.

Last year also, the VMC planned to enforce one-time settlement for collecting property tax from the residents, but failed to do so after facing stiff opposition from the left parties and civic associations. 

Once again, the civic body has come up with the proposal this year as it failed to meet the fixed target, Anjaneyulu said. He added that if the VMC implemented one-time settlement for property tax, definitely it would have its impact on other taxations.
Association president V Sambi Reddy was also present at the news conference.


‘Annual property tax collection unlawful’

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The Hindu        11.04.2017  

‘Annual property tax collection unlawful’

Taxpayers say interest on delayed payment is also illegal

The Taxpayers Association on Monday criticised the move of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) to collect property tax annually terming it an unlawful act.

Speaking to the media persons, association secretary M.V. Anjaneyulu said as per Section 264 of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act 1955, a corporation can collect tax either for three or six months. “Even the council has no right to collect annually and it is surprising that a Commissioner is initiating a move on tax collection for one year which is unlawful.” He said even the 2% interest on delayed payment was not within the ambit of law. The statement that the corporation would stop essential services such as drinking water, drainage and other services was nothing but coercion and harassment.

He said it was sad the corporation was not taking interest in collecting the ever-increasing defaults including by legislators, parliamentarians and other influential persons. “The civic body should use these stringent Sections of the law against defaulters, not against the citizens. Because of the inaction of the officers, the corporation is pushed to financial hardship,” he said. He said even the State and the Central government units such as the Railways, the State Guest House, the Police Department, trusts and several religious institutions were not paying tax regularly and no action was taken against them.

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