Relief for unauthorised property holders

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Owners will now have to pay no fine or 1.5 times the levied amount

PUNE: In a big relief to unauthorised property owners, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to reduce fine on property tax after the instruction was issued at the General Body meeting. Instead of paying double property tax as penalty, the owners will now have to pay no fine or 1.5 times the levied amount depending on the area of the property. 

PMC Joint Municipal Commissioner Suresh Jagtap, who has been given additional charge of the Property Tax Department said, “The owners of the unauthorised residential properties will get some respite as the penalty on property tax has been reduced. The decision of giving discount has been taken for giving relief to those who are suffering due to illegal works of the builders.” 

He said, “The residential properties less than 1,000 sq ft area will get discount and will not have to pay any fine, while properties with more than 1,000 sq ft area will be have to pay 1.5 times the amount.” 

A provision of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act allows charging double the property tax as penalty. But it was observed that builders tend to misguide property purchasers and do not give proper information to them. After the property is purchased, the owners are left with no option but to pay double the tax. Considering the problem of property owners, the State Government in a notification in 2017, gave the powers of finalising the penalty amount to the municipal bodies. 

The city has 9.5 lakh properties including 11 newly merged villages. Out of that nearly 12.5 per cent are commercial and more than 12.5 per cent are residential. Around 3.5 per cent properties have open plots. There are 2 per cent properties which are a mixture of commercial and residential establishment. 

This year, the PMC has set a target of collecting property tax of Rs 2,200 crore for the year 2019-20. Last year, it was Rs 1,800 crore. However, the PMC was able to collect only Rs 1,195 crore tax.

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