Wednesday, 21 January 2015

State mulls hike in property tax to fund infrastructure projects

A revision of property tax rates in the state may be in the pipeline. Senior officials in the urban local bodies department (ULB) told that property tax could be raised to give municipal corporations extra funds to carry out development work.

For this, the ULB has asked all municipal corporations in the state to furnish details of property tax collected in the past 10 years by the end of this month. It has also asked for specific records including data of tax collected in keeping with the taxation policy of 2000-01 and the difference in revenue after the policy change in 2008-09.

Details of the extra burden on the exchequer after the previous government ordered a wavier in 2009 have also been sought by the ULB, officials said.

A senior ULB official said the corporations need more funds to provide water supply, sanitation, sewerage management, and building and maintenance of roads. "If we continue to stick to the existing policy of Re 1 per square yard, it will only increase the burden on corporations and local bodies," he said.

ULB director Pankaj Agarwal, however, assured that property tax details would be studied carefully before any changes are made. He said that records of how corporations spent the revenue generated in the past 10 years have also been sought.

"We have not taken any decision yet but have asked all corporations to submit data to analyse revenue inflow after change in policies," he said. Agarwal said that it was too early to decide on any revision of rates. "A detailed study of data for property tax collected according to the policy prior to 2009-10 and revenue generated after the policy of 2010-11 is essential before any change is considered," he said.

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