Counters to be set up; dedicated facilities expected to be popular mode of payment

Residents may soon be able to remit property tax in all 200 wards.

Zonal-level officials have been directed by the civic body to identify structures suitable for setting up of counters for remitting property tax.

Enumeration of the existing facilities in all ward offices will begin next week.

The dedicated property tax collection facilities in each ward office may facilitate hassle-free payment of the tax for most of the 10.71 assessees in the city. Assessees opting for online and electronic clearing service mode of property tax get receipts after a delay. They can get a receipt immediately only at the counter and through hand-held billing machines. So most residents opt for payment at counters and inadequate number of counters remains a challenge to the collection of property tax.

Residents also have the option of approaching tax collectors, who can access details like property and tax details with the help of the hand-held machines instead of looking into ledgers. The machine accepts credit/debit cards, demand drafts and cheques and will give receipts to assessees immediately.

However, as the tax collectors or assessors do not have a dedicated room or furniture to be seated in a certain place, most residents find it difficult to avail themselves of their services.

The proposal to have a counter in all the ward offices is expected to help residents remit the tax at their own convenience.

The civic body had earlier set a target of setting up 2,000 bank counters in the city for walk-in payment of property tax to improve tax collection. But the counters have not proved popular due to server problems experienced by some of the banks.

This year, residents in all fifteen zones of the city were permitted to pay their property tax online. Yet, fewer people use the system. The online mode of payment is currently being used by around 10 per cent of the assessees, including a few non-resident Indians who own properties in the city.

The counters at ward offices are expected to be the most popular mode of property tax collection in the city, officials said. After the opening of counters in the offices, the number of assessees who fail to pay the tax on time is likely to reduce considerably. 

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