June 2, 2016 12:48:24 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC’s) decision to extend the deadline for paying property tax by a month has led to a fall in the revenue collection to Rs 340 crore as against Rs 520 crore by this time, last year. However, the authorities have claimed that there would be record collection in the extended month.
As per the PMC rules applicable till last financial year, if city residents paid their taxes by May end, the PMC provided discount of 10 per cent on property tax amounting up to Rs 25,000 and 5 per cent on tax amounting over Rs 25,000. Thereafter, it charged 2 per cent of penalty, every month, for the delay in payment of property tax.
The rule was changed for 2016-17 and the deadline was extended to June end. “The property tax collection has dropped considerably as the deadline was extended. The civic administration collected Rs 340 crore, this year, till May end, as against Rs 522 crore, the previous year,” said the chairperson of standing committee, Balasaheb Bodke.
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The deadline was extended to enable more city residents to take benefit of the discount scheme as there had been complaints that the bills had not reached them in two months, he said, adding, “There would be record collection in the month of June. The administration would be asked to launch a drive to encourage citizens to pay tax on time.”
A civic officer said that the reduced revenue collection in the first two months of the financial year would have an adverse impact on undertaking civic infrastrucuture work. “The shortage of Rs 180 crore in the civic treasury would delay implementation of civic projects that could have been undertaken now.”
Also, the extension of deadline would have to be continued in the coming years, he said, adding,”There will be reluctance to restore the deadline to avoid public criticism.”
In 2015, the PMC had a record collection of Rs 522 crore property tax in the first two months of the financial year as against Rs 420 crore, the previous year.
The record collection of property tax in 2015 was attributed to timely distribution of bills to citizens, with the postal department taking up that responsibility. This year, as well, the postal department has been distributing the property tax bills at every doorstep.
Meanwhile, the PMC has also improved the online facility for collection of property tax, along with enabling few banks to collect the tax.
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