Opposing the fifth Municipal Valuation Committee’s (MVC) recommendation to hike property tax rates by 37%, the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), a traders’ body, has written to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi official requesting it not to implement any hike in tax rates till the civic polls are held in the city.
CTI chairperson Brijesh Goyal said that civic body officials are taking decisions on an arbitrary basis which has led to panic among traders across various markets.
“The draft delimitation report is out and this means that polls are nearing. The civic body officials should wait till elections are held and then consult with elected representatives on implementing decisions regarding hike in tax rates and other fees,” said Mr. Goyal, who is also the Delhi convener of AAP’s trade and industry wing.
He added that the civic body has issued notices to various shopkeepers in Paharganj and Karol Bagh, directing them to deposit ₹2 lakh as user charges for sanitation purposes.
According to the fifth MVC’s interim report, submitted in August, a hike in base unit area value by 37% – which if implemented will lead to an increase in property tax rates. The report had highlighted that there has been no change in the tax slab since 2004.
Meanwhile, residents’ welfare association (RWAs) have also opposed the recommendation, with most stating that the civic body has done little to include a large number of properties in their tax net.
“The recommendations by the fifth MVC are not aimed at targeting a certain section of residents or traders, rather, it applies to the entire city. However, a call to delay the implementation on hiking tax rates is a call for the MCD’s special officer to take,” a senior civic body official said.
East Delhi RWAs joint front president B.S. Vohra said that the civic body had suffered financial losses from 2019 to 2022 due to pending funds from sources of external revenue.
“The MCD’s internal revenue was doing fairly well. So why should the public have to pay for losses incurred due to the shortfall in external revenue? We have attended a public hearing in connection with suggestions and objections to the MVC’s report and have raised these points. However, we are also hopeful that these points are taken into consideration and acted upon,” said Mr. Vohra.