Pimpri: Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge has appealed to traders and entrepreneurs not to pay the double penalty tax, which is levied on unauthorised constructions. He demanded a complete waiver of the double penalty tax. The double penalty on property tax is being recovered to curb unauthorised constructions. Landge called a meeting of traders and entrepreneurs, who have been served notices by the PCMC to pay penalty for unauthorised constructions. The meeting discussed double penalty tax in detail. Entrepreneurs questioned the intention behind recovering double penalty tax only from entrepreneurs.
They are the highest taxpayers for the PCMC, yet civic officials are collecting penalties from entrepreneurs.
They are ready to pay property tax, sans the penalty but officials are putting pressure on them to pay tax, along with the penalty. Civic teams have collected cheques from entrepreneurs forcefully in some cases.
Landge said a bill is being discussed in the current session of the legislative assembly. As long as the discussion on this bill is going on, industrialists should not pay the tax.
“If any officer or employee of the municipal corporation comes for tax recovery, entrepreneurs should immediately ring my office,” Landge said.
Meanwhile, the civic body collected penalties amounting to Rs 127.44 crore in past six years, ever since the double penalty tax has been imposed. Rs 46.01 crore has been collected in financial year 2017-18 alone. The civic body, with an intention to increase its revenue, has intensified efforts to recover pending dues.
According to civic officials, the civic body has recovered penalties from 12,260 residential property owners and 1,823 non-residential property owners. The amount collected from residential properties this year is Rs 31.75 crore and from non-residential properties is Rs 14.26 crore.
The State government had first issued a GR in 2008 allowing civic bodies to collect penalties amounting to double the property tax for unauthorised constructions. But the civic body started collecting penalty charges from 2012-13 onwards. Till 2016-17, the PCMC recovered Rs 81.43 crore.