1.5 lakh property owners do not pay house tax
Owners of more than 1.5 lakh properties, which is around 50% of private properties in the city, are not paying house tax to the Agra Municipal Corporation (AMC), say civic body officials here. In order to increase its revenue collection from property tax, the civic body administration is all set to conduct a survey of residential and commercial properties to identify tax evaders. They will also identify the properties registered as residential but are being used for commercial purposes.
Additional municipal commissioner Vijay Kumar said, “To put cap on irregularities in determination and collection of property tax and to increase income of the civic body, a survey will be conducted in all the 100 wards of the city. The survey will be carried out by a private agency and is part of the smart city project. The exercise will start from the wards in Tajganj locality.”
On an average every year, AMC manages to recover around Rs 25 crore as property tax from residential and commercial properties. For the current financial year, the municipal board has set a target for collecting Rs 35 crore as property tax. While officials are struggling to achieve the target, councilors suggest that least Rs 70-80 crore can be easily recovered as property tax.
The reason is not hard to find. According to civic body’s tax records, as many as 1,90 properties are registered with it whereas the local distribution company. Torrent Power, is supplying electricity to 3.5 lakh premises within the city limits. The last survey was conducted in 2012, sources said. Since then, much has changed in the city.
According to civic body records, around 70,000 house-owners have not paid their dues for more than five years. Besides, the tax levied on dozens of major buildings in different wards of the city is less than their actual carpet area and standard norms laid down by the ministry of urban development have been violated in determining their liability.