Nashik Corporation Hikes Property Taxes, Scraps Discounts
Compared to last year, Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has been able to bag 36 per cent more property tax in the first four months of this fiscal year taking the collection to Rs 64.20 crore as against Rs 46.98 crore during the same period, last year. So what did the corporation do this time? Well, it has hiked the tax rates in the range of 37 to 40 per cent. This is the only reason why it could bring in more. Additionally, the corporation is also planning a drive in the upcoming months to recover these taxes from citizens.
Last year, the NMC had set a target of Rs 113 crore but managed to bring in only Rs 90 crore. This year, the target is ambitious at Rs 253 crore to be collected from over four lakh properties. So far, the highest collection in Nashik is from its Cidco division at Rs 12.45 crore followed by Nashik East that has yielded Rs 12.06 crore.
No more discounts
To encourage those who pay their property taxes on or before time, many corporations offer certain concessions. For example, last year those taxpayers who cleared their dues before April were entitled to five per cent rebate, those who paid in May got three per cent while those who waited till June could still manage a two per cent discount. Those who paid online were also given rebated as well as those who used solar power. Not anymore. Given that the targets are ambitious this year and there are defaulters on the list, concessions do not look viable. However, to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, these defaulters would be penalised up to two per cent every month for those who fail to pay by October 2018. The authority believes that despite concessions, the corporation was incurring losses and therefore the discount scheme has been totally scrapped.
The overall pinch
Those in Nashik would feel the pinch of property tax hike as residential housing tax is up by five times while non-residential properties will have to spend four times more as tax. This year onwards, those with vacant land will also have to pay taxes.
So how does the tax pan out? If the annual tax for a 500sq-ft residential property was Rs 1,647, the tax now stands at Rs 6,500.
For the tax hike
Naturally, the hike had caused much worry and therefore, early this year Mayor, Ranjana Bhansi was quoted saying, “The hike has put an additional financial burden on property owners. Even the farmers are at the receiving end as the civic administration had announced to impose tax on farmlands that are not in the green zone. Thus, the general body has decided to abolish the hike.”
Later, the civic administration rejected the general body’s decision saying that there was a need to hike property tax, the rates of which have not been changed since 1991. “The general body raised the revenue target to more than Rs 2,000 crore. From where will this money come? We got only Rs 76.65 crore from property tax, Rs 126 crore from town planning department, Rs 48 crore from water tax, Rs 86 crore from miscellaneous tax and so on,” Times of India quoted Municipal Commissioner, Tukaram Munde as saying.