Staff Correspondent

The meeting was postponed after representatives of Mysore Grahakara Parishat, Tax Payers' Federation, and Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore staged a protest

MYSORE: The meeting convened by the sub-committee on revision of property guideline values in Mysore was put off owing to protests by Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP), Tax Payers' Federation (TPF) and Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM).

Even before the meeting convened by the chairman of the sub-committee and tahsildar P.S. Kantharaju could begin at his office on Hunsur Road on Friday, general secretary of TPF H.V.S. Murthy, MGP President S.G. Vombatkere and ACICM convenor M. Lakshmana turned up at the meeting and registered their protest.

Apart from their objection to the proposed hike in guidance value of property, the representatives of the three organisations were angry with the tahsildar for his failure to invite them for the meeting, which had been convened to discuss the objections from the public before a final decision in the matter could be taken. After a verbal duel with the tahsildar, the representatives forced the sub-committee to put off the meeting as well as the implementation of the revised property guidelines, which were scheduled to come into force from February 1.

Mr. Lakshmana told presspersons that the tahsildar had invited only A. Ramdas, former MLA from Krishnaraja Assembly constituency, for the meeting though more than 2,800 people had submitted their objections to the proposed move to revise property guideline values.

"We suspected that they would take a unilateral decision without discussing the matter with other aggrieved citizens of Mysore. Ideally, such a discussion should be held in a large place, where the objections can be debated publicly," he said.

Mr. Ramdas also took objection to the tahsildar's failure to invite those who had filed objections. The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act had envisaged that the sub-committee on revision of urban property values should be headed by Deputy Commissioner, as has been the case in Bangalore. "The tahsildar has no jurisdiction over urban properties," Mr. Ramdas argued. He also questioned the parameters used to fix the revised rates.

The need for inclusion of a senior official from Mysore City Corporation into the sub-committee was also emphasised. As the revision is likely to have an impact on the eight-lakh residents of Mysore and 1.28 lakh property tax payers, a corporation official should be a member of the sub-committee.

Mr. Vombatkere questioned the logic behind fixation of property tax on the basis of the property's capital value.

Meanwhile, the tahsildar yielded to the protests and agreed to convene a meeting at a later date so that the views of the taxpayers are also taken into consideration before a final decision is taken.

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