Our objective is not to harass anyone but we have given sufficient time by sending notices to the defaulters, says GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu
With 10 days to go for the financial year closure, the GHMC has collected a high of Rs. 620 crore as property tax -- a cool Rs. 134 crore more -- when compared to last year’s figure at this time, Rs. 486 crore.
Yet, the catch is the municipal corporation has to still collect Rs. 230 crore more since the target is Rs. 850 crore. Moreover, it has also realised that close to 5,82,293 property owners are among the tax defaulters from the 12,93,453 assesses as 7,11,160 were found to have paid the tax till date.
“Both the land owner and the tenant is responsible for paying property tax on time. Or, we will have to take the necessary action, including seizure of goods, sealing of immovable properties and so on. Our objective is not to harass anyone but we have given sufficient time sending demand notices, red notices and counselling by senior officers,” said GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu on Wednesday.
At a press conference, he urged the citizens to utilise the opportunity provided by the government in waiving the penal interest on arrears and the tax for the year on or by March 31.
“Interest waiver is applicable only when the arrears and the principal tax amount for the current year is paid,” he said.
The Commissioner assured citizens that if they the penal interest is already paid, it will be adjusted in the next year’s amount as Rs. 59 crore was collected as penal interest before the government waiver notice came. The civic body has Rs. 1,686 crore of tax arrears from different properties of which Rs.355 crore is interest payment alone.
A whopping Rs. 216 crore, including an interest payment of Rs. 63 crore, is owed by the top 1,000 tax defaulters alone and the details are on the website – ghmcgov.in. If any one in the list has objections and claims to have paid the tax, the deputy commissioner concerned can be contacted with relevant proof, he said.
New and underassessment cases have netted Rs. 80 crore and once the GIS mapping is completed in ‘one docket’ taken up in each circle, at least Rs. 1 crore can be mopped up.
The government has released Rs. 30 crore of the Rs. 72 crore demand while a committee is going into the demand raised on Central government properties, including that of the railways, added Mr. Babu.