GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu says that as per the provisions of the Municipal Act, property tax has to be revised every five years and the time has come to do so now

Whether it’s a ‘revision’ or ‘rationalisation,’ the likelihood of a hike in the property tax in the New Year is pretty high. Though Mayor Mohd. Majid Hussain and GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu were careful enough not to mention the word ‘hike’ anywhere in their speeches, they gave enough hints to suggest it was inevitable.

In fact, the Commissioner juggled with the words effortlessly claiming that the rationalisation exercise was on at one time and then to a pointed query, merely said there would be a “revision.”

The Mayor, earlier in the press meet, had grandly announced that the revenues were flowing in with the town planning netting Rs. 314 crore and property tax collection target upped to Rs. 960 crore or nearly doubled. Besides, the profession tax is expected to net another Rs. 300 crore.

“Property tax hike is the prerogative of the Commissioner and the Government. The GHMC is entitled to seek the correct property tax assessment for the services provided and through rationalisation we intend to target the underassessed and unassessed properties,” explained Mr. Hussain.

No transparency

The Commissioner chipped in: “Because of the lack of transparency and clarity in assessing properties and various loopholes as well as mischief there are apprehensions among the citizens. We have been able to curb certain loopholes. There have been complaints of abnormal hike in property rates during the last revision in 2007.”

Mr. Krishna Babu also said as per the provisions of the Municipal Act, property tax has to be revised every five years and the time has come to do so now. “We are trying to give greater clarity on the correct rate per square ft depending upon the area and usage. The exercise is on,” he said.

“We have received complaints about similar rates in Banjara Hills and L.B. Nagar and through rationalisation we aim to remove such discrepancies,” the Mayor added.

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