Property tax rates in Mysore have been increased by the Mysore City Corporation (MCC), by 15 per cent with immediate effect.
The MCC justified its decision citing Section 109 (a) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act as per which property tax can be hiked from a minimum of 15 per cent to a maximum of 30 per cent once in three years.
From April 1
An MCC release said here on Thursday that the revised rates would come into effect from April 1, but a five per cent rebate has been offered to those remitting property tax before April 30.
Incidentally, the MCC in its budget for 2010-11, which was tabled on Wednesday, projected property tax collection for the current financial year at Rs. 65.77 crore, while the amount fixed for the previous fiscal was around Rs. 50 crore.
However, the MCC's decision has angered citizens. Vice-president of the Karnataka State Property Taxpayers' Federation H.V.S. Murthy has condemned the move. Mr. Murthy, an advocate, said the existence of the Act by itself did not give the MCC the right to increase property tax rates. The MCC should have formulated taxation rules and elaborated it for the purpose of implementing the KMC Act, but it had failed to do so. The federation will fight the MCC's decision,” he said.
In the absence of specific rules, enhancing property tax rates was illegal, Mr. Murthy said. Though the law permitted an increase in property tax, the MCC should justify this increase on the basis of works being undertaken by it, he said.
He alleged that the MCC fixed a target simply to meet its commitments to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). For every Rs. 100 received as soft loan, the MCC had to repay Rs. 10 and hence this burden was being passed on to the common man, he said. This would burden not only retired individuals but also the salaried class, Mr. Murthy added.
Meanwhile, the Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM) lashed out at the MCC and said the decision to increase the tax rate by 15 per cent for domestic and 30 per cent for commercial properties was highly objectionable. The ACICM said that the Inspector-General of Stamp and Registration had increased the guidance value of property on March 1, 2008, and hence, the property tax hike should be effected three years from then, in 2011. \
Describing the move as unfortunate, the ACICM said that instead of utilising the funds given by the State and Union governments, the MCC was burdening the general public. The association has convened a public meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, at the Institution of Engineers, to decide next course of action.