South Delhi civic body to raise property tax
Presenting a Rs 5,437-crore budget proposal for the financial year 2019-20 on Tuesday, South Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner Puneet Goel emphasized on completing and expanding already announced/existing projects and improving the civic body’s financial health while refraining from planning any new eye-catching project.
“It takes two to three years to get a project running on the ground. I have focused on increasing allocation for education and public health sectors,” Goel said.
To fill the coffers of SDMC, the commissioner proposed an increase of 1 to 2% points in residential property tax rates (see graphic) while a uniform rate of 15% was mooted for non-commercial properties.
An education cess of 1% on the total value of property tax is likely to fetch around Rs 25 crore for the corporation. A proposal was also placed for levying a professional tax on taxable income for creating a corpus of Rs 30 crore. The corporation also sought to slash most rebates offered under various categories.
“The marginal hike is logical as municipal valuation committee reports have not been implemented while the unit area value, which forms the basis of property tax calculation, has not been revised,” said Goel.
SDMC is expected to get Rs 800 crore as property tax in this financial year with a projected increase of 15% next year.
With the general election slated next year, the political wing of the corporation is unlikely to accept these proposals. However, Goel said it was his duty to propose the right thing for the financial health of the corporation, accepting or rejecting it was the prerogative of elected representatives.
On the pollution front, SDMC will operationalize two solar power plants in Faridabad (2.5MW) and Ghummanhera (25MW) within 18 months.
To finance them and its upcoming headquarters, the corporation will issue municipal bonds worth Rs 500 crore. SDMC will develop CNG crematoriums in Dwarka, Subhash Nagar while hybrid mokshdah units will come up at Laal Kuan and Hastsal.
Goel also proposed the expansion of the construction and demolition plant in Bakkarwala and procurement of smaller vacuum machines for narrow streets.
SDMC plans to spend 18.15% of its funds on education, with a 1% cess to boost the sector. Primary schools will be equipped with at least one smart classroom and e-slates for nursery children.
In the health sector, with a 7.19% allocation, the corporation will work towards setting up an Ayurveda center at Poornima Sethi Hospital in Kalkaji.
In a bid to provide some relief to traders in sealed shop-cum-residence markets, Goel said de-sealing camps would be organised at sectoral levels.
Other proposals include the redevelopment of Meherchand Market, an upscale commercial zone in Lodhi Colony and pedestrianization of streets in market areas lacking parking facilities.
With no plan head funds coming from the Delhi government, SDMC has compared the commercial meter data of BRPL discom and its own property tax data, and identified 2 lakh properties which are not paying property tax at commercial rates. “We will soon crack down on these violators,” Goel said.