PUNE: A Shiv Sena corporator has proposed an amnesty scheme for property tax defaulters. Prithviraj Sutar submitted this proposal at the Standing Committee meeting. He claimed that if implemented, the scheme would help increase property tax collection.
Normally, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) prepares and distributes property tax bills in April every year. May 31 is given as the last date to pay the bills. A discount of 5 to 10 per cent in bill amount is given to those who pay on or before this deadline. After July, it starts applying 2 per cent fine for late payment of bills.
This year, the department collected Rs 2,200 crore via property tax for the FY 2019-20. The target was set by the PMC Standing Committee. Last year, it was Rs 1,800 crore. However, the PMC has been able to collect only Rs 1,195 crore tax throughout the year. There is a shortfall of around Rs 300 crore.
Sutar said that due to the heavy penalty, defaulters do not pay tax. The default amount keeps increasing every year. If a relief in penalty is provided, they would pay tax. This will help ease the financial burden on the PMC.
On the other hand, tax department officials are of the view that this would not help boost collection. Defaulters will get the benefit and not the PMC.
In 2017, the PMC introduced an amnesty scheme. The PMC provided relief to defaulters from 50 per cent to 70 per cent discount in property tax, which got a good response.