Hyderabad: For the first time in the history of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), and despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the property tax collection has crossed Rs 1,500-crore mark this financial year.
According to the GHMC, the property tax collected till March 25 was Rs 1,503.13 crore, paid by 11,73,218 taxpayers. It has set a target of Rs 1,900 crore this financial year and with time left till the month-end, hopes to increase the collection further.
In 2019-20, the civic body has generated Rs 1,472 crore and this year’s collection till March 25 happens to be higher by Rs 31 crore.
Officials said there are around 16 lakh property taxpayers in the GHMC limits of which 11.73 lakh have paid the tax. Those who fail to remit the tax before March 31 will be levied penalties from April 1.
“We are going door-to-door reminding people to pay the tax on time and avoid being penalised. Those who fail to pay the tax will be penalised 24 per cent of whatever amount they have to pay before the deadline,” a senior official said.
The rise in property tax payment is attributed to the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme implemented across all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) under which the State government allows a waiver of 90 per cent of accumulated interest arrears on property tax upon clearing the entire arrears in one go.
According to officials, the civic body has registered a rise in property tax collection by Rs 474 crore in the last five years. During 2015-16, it was Rs 1,029 crore, which has shot up to Rs 1,503 crore this year so far.
The OTS has been extended to ensure that property owners clear the principal amount of the tax dues till 2019-20 together with 10 per cent of interest on accumulated arrears in one go.
“I request the citizens to avail OTS, which will be closed on March 31, and also pay the current year tax dues,” said DS Lokesh Kumar, GHMC Commissioner.
The municipal corporation has made arrangements for the convenience of property owners to pay the tax at all municipal circle offices, citizen service centres, via online modes, e-Seva centres and also to bill collectors.
‘Early Bird’ scheme from April 1
The GHMC is offering the Early Bird scheme benefit of a 5 per cent rebate to those paying property tax for 2021-22 starting April 1. The objective is to increase the collections by encouraging property owners through a discount. Earlier, this facility was offered to property owners whose annual demand was less than Rs 30,000 and only for residential properties. However, considering the growing demand, the government has extended it to commercial properties in 2020-21 in all ULBs.
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