Bring tax sops back for self-occupied homes: Pune citizens
PUNE: Various citizens’ groups have urged the state government and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to reintroduce the scheme of 40% property tax discount for self-occupied homes in civic areas.
A special discount was started in 1970 for self-occupied properties. But it was not notified as an act by any state government. So, the discount was declared illegal by auditors of the Union government and scrapped in 2019. The PMC had started recovering additional tax as arrears after the discount was removed. But after opposition from the public, the drive was stopped.
“The civic administration and the state government have not given any clarity on their future course of action and the diligent taxpayer is suffering. The authorities should offer this discount again,” said Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch, a citizen group.
Civic officials said that they have written to the state government for clarification on the issue. The decision on recovery of old tax would be taken as per the state government’s directives. Sudhir Kulkarni of Nagari Hakka Samiti said that the citizens were being punished for the mistakes of the civic officials.
“If the authorities want to go back on the decision of tax discount, they should have done it a few decades ago. Why are they increasing the burden on the taxpayers by imposing additional retrospective tax? The PMC claims that orders were issued to stop the recovery. But the civic officials could not furnish details of the order in the RTI reply. The citizens continue to face the threat of heavy tax recovery,” said Kulkarni.