Standing Committee rejects proposed property tax hike

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The Standing Committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has rejected municipal commissioner’s proposed 12 per cent hike in property tax on Monday.

Pune: The Standing Committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has rejected municipal commissioner’s proposed 12 per cent hike in property tax on Monday. Civic Chief Saurabh Rao had proposed a hike in property in their draft budget of 2019-20. Members rejected the property tax hike in the special Standing Committee meeting.
  
Recently, Rao tabled the draft budget of Rs 6,085 crore for 2019-20 and proposed total 12 per cent hike in property tax (5 per cent in general tax, 5.5 water cess and 1.5 per cent sewage tax) and 15 per cent water tax. 

Water tax has been proposed for 24x7 water supply project. Besides that, the civic body mentioned imposing a user charge for garbage management based annual rateable value of a property which is minimum Rs 50 to maximum Rs 500 per month. The user charge will be included in the property tax bill. 
Now, the Standing Committee is conducting a special meeting to discuss draft budget. On Monday, committee members discussed the property tax hike. All members pointed out arrears of property and water tax and instructed the administration to collect dues before imposing hike in property tax (water cess and general tax and sewage tax).

Standing Committee Chairman Yogesh Mulik said, “According to civic administration statistics, there are around Rs 3,400 crore and Rs 550 crore of property tax and water tax dues respectively. Hence, the administration should have to concentrate on the collection of arrears rather than imposing a hike in taxes. The administration should not put the extra burden on the citizens.”
 
Though, the committee has rejected property tax hike, the proposed water tax for 24x7 water supply projects will continue because the general body meeting has given blanket approval from 2016 to 2020-21. 

User charges for garbage decision pending
Along with property tax hike, the administration suggested imposing a user charge for garbage management based annual rateable value of a property which is minimum Rs 50 to maximum Rs 500 per month. The committee has not taken any decision on user charges.

Committee Chairman Mulik said, “We will discuss user charge for garbage management in another special Standing Committee meeting.” 

24x7 water project
The civic administration was expecting Rs 110 crore annually from 12 per cent property tax hike and hoped to collect Rs 29 crore from 15 per cent water tax hike. In 2016-17, the PMC had given approval for 24x7 water supply project and had proposed water tax for five years and a General Body meeting had approved the hike while sanctioning 24x7 water project. Accordingly, this is the third year of hike in the water tax.

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