People Prefer To Go Online To Pay Property Tax; Pune Leads The Pack
Property taxes are an important talk-point in India given how progressive these are but poorly leveraged. Authorities try out ways to encourage taxpayers but as is the scenario, only a handful of these corporations manage to garner anything close to their revenue target despite the fact that there are discounts and concessions for early birds or those who pay online, etc.
In all this, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) deserves a special mention in the way taxpayers are leveraging technology. In 2008-09 which was the first time that the PCMC had allowed online tax payment, only 2.06 per cent of the populace had used it to pay their property taxes. Fast forward, 2017-18 and 34.6 per cent have paid online. Lately, the department allowed taxpayers to use the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app as well. Going forward, PCMC may also allow Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT).
Online property tax payment seems to be getting popular in Nagpur as well and the corporation is keen to launch its mobile application that will facilitate such payments. In 2016-17, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) received about Rs 7.06 crore online. This fiscal, by February it collected Rs 7.59 crore. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) collected over Rs 1,063 crore by March 2018 as property tax and the good news is that 50 per cent of these payments were made online, a clear indication that more property owners are for smooth and fast transactions. By mid-May, there were more online transactions than offline.
On the other hand, those willing to make use of e-services in Bengaluru are helpless. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) e-services have prompted homeowners to physically approach the authority office to pay taxes. The tech-capital of India is in dire need to upgrade its services given that Bengaluru is one of the most active real estate markets in India.
Upgrading services is a must given that professionals on-the-go may find it tough to visit the corporation offices and stand in queues. At a time when most corporations are facing a severe cash crunch and have meager funds to aid civic development, a far more efficient system should replace the traditional form of paying taxes.
Nashik and Chennai corporations have had to hike taxes owing to funds crunch. Nashik corporation has had to go one step ahead and scrap all schemes and discounts that were rolled out in the past to encourage early payments. In Chennai, the hike for residential buildings is as much as 50 per cent. Property taxes were last revived in 1991 in Nashik and in 1998 in Chennai.