But for it, the water tax collection could have been higher
The GVMC is quite particular about launching a drive to realise property tax dues, as the financial year draws to an end. Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue. Along with property tax, water tax is also collected.
During the March-end rush, a taxpayer was flummoxed when he was told at a private bank that there was no water tax due payable by him. “The computer is not showing any tax against the assessment number given by you. You can pay it when the corporation asks for it,” the bank staff told him. There was no way the tax can be paid, as unless the demand is shown, receipt can’t be generated. Neither the taxpayer is alone in going through the strange experience, nor is the revenue-delaying glitch new to the corporation.
A few years ago, when N. Srikant was Commissioner, a Water Supply official had faced a similar problem. He had taken it to the notice of the Commissioner, who asked the IT wing to look into it. It took nearly two years for the department to get back to the official, who had to pay Rs.6,200 in one go. But not everyone may be prepared to pay cumulative bills at a time. More importantly, things have not changed much since then and the bug continues to bother both the GVMC as well as the taxpayer. The only solace one can draw is that no interest is levied on arrears of water bills.
The corporation’s total demand from 1.49 lakh household supply connections is Rs.16.53 crore, of which by the end of March Rs.13.52 crore was collected. The connections include 2,830 semi-bulk connections for apartments.
They account for Rs.5.32 crore and Rs.4.93 crore was paid.
“This is normal as about 81 per cent of the demand is collected,” said an official of the Water Supply wing of the GVMC. But the collection could have been higher if the software glitch is rectified.
When contacted, Superintendent Engineer (Water Supply) V. Chandraiah said the glitch had affected several taxpayers.
The Water Supply office at Town Service Reservoir had the wherewithal to rectify it and taxpayers may get it done there, he said.