Following opposition from residents, the RPI (A), an ally of the ruling BJP in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), has opposed the civic administration’s proposal of 11 percent hike in property tax of the civic body, citing Rs 5,500 crore of dues to be recovered.
RPI (A) leader and former Deputy Mayor Siddarth Dhende said that the property tax dues that the civic administration needs to recover is amounted to Rs 5,547 crore and increasing the tax for Rs 130 crore additional revenue was injustice to the regular payers.
The Rs 5,547 crore of dues include Rs 2,411 crore from the general public on their properties, Rs 1,225 crore from mobile towers, Rs 514 crore delayed to court cases, while Rs 957 crore is disputed by the property owners.
“The civic administration has done a good job in recovering property tax in the current financial year. Also, the inclusion of 23 new villages is going to increase the revenue collection from property tax,” Dhende said in a letter to the standing committee chairperson while opposing the proposed hike in property tax.
The former deputy mayor pointed out that there are 60,000 properties that are unassessed and out of the PMC’s tax ambit. Mobile companies and information technology firms have challenged the actual amount of tax charged from them. The state government, too, is yet to clear its dues of Rs 350 crore to the PMC.
“The pandemic has affected the income of common citizens, making them struggle to earn their livelihood. The Union and the state government have come up with various discount schemes for the residents’ benefit to come out of the crisis,” he said, adding that the PMC should also ensure that residents are not burdened financially and the tax is not hiked.
“If the PMC goes ahead with the proposed hike in property tax, then the RPI (A) would stage a protest against it,” Dhende said.
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