Staff Reporter

Sequel to trader representations

VISAKHAPATNAM: Providing a massive relief and yielding to pressures from trade organisations, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to cap the increase in non-residential property tax in municipal corporations at 50 per cent.

The Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department on Monday issued a fresh order, GO Ms No.864 which states that the increase shall be restricted to 50 per cent of the existing tax (as on September 30, 2007) in respect of non-residential buildings notwithstanding anything contained in earlier rules.

The orders came in the wake of representations by merchant organisations and marks another climbdown by the State Government on the non-residential tax issue, doing away with the age (of the building) provision. Earlier revising its August GO, it issued GO 732 limiting the increase to 150 and 100 per cent.

If the orders issued increasing the tax in August were implemented the non-residential property tax of the GVMC from 19,000-odd assesses would increase from Rs.7.17 crores to a whopping Rs.22.83 crores. With the upper ceiling limited to 150 and 100 per cent, the increase in tax was projected at Rs.17.9 crores, marking an increase of Rs.10.73 crores. “Now with the government deciding to cap it at 50 per cent the tax expected to be realized will be around Rs.10.75 crores i.e., an increase of Rs.3.58 crores,” Y.Sai Srikant, Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), told said.

In the first GO issued in August, 2007, the Government had invoked provisions of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act revising the property tax. Following opposition to the multi-fold increase, the GO restricting the increase to 150 and 100 per cent for buildings which are less than 25 years of age and more than that period respectively was issued.

The GVMC meeting on October 29 witnessed stalling of the proceedings for nearly two hours on the issue resulting in the Mayor reiterating a rollback on the basis of GO 732. The meeting on November 19 had decided to issue fresh demand notices to all the assessees irrespective of their filing revision petitions.