Guwahati civic body to seize homes of property tax defaulters

February 19, 2024

GUWAHATI: Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) commissioner Megha Nidhi Dahal on Sunday said the corporation has to collect over Rs 100 crore arrears in property tax in the current financial year. Taxpayers in the city have not paid their dues for many years.

GMC has issued more than 50 warrants against such tax defaulters. Their properties will be seized by the corporation if the tax is not paid on time, said Dahal. He said if those who were issued the warrants, do not pay the tax before March 31, GMC will occupy those houses and recover the tax by selling the valuables in those households.

The warrants, under which around Rs 2 crore is to be recovered as tax, have been issued to enhance the property tax collection and crack down on tax defaulters to collect the dues. There are over 3 lakh property taxpayers under the corporation.

“Under sections 189(1) and 189(2) of the Guwahati Municipal Act,1971, the corporation is empowered to take stringent actions such as attaching the properties and clearing the dues. Till date, we have not taken such strict measures, but now we are left with no other options,” he added.

The commissioner said although the corporation has taken many measures to ease the process of tax filing in recent times to motivate the residents, the desired outcome has not been achieved yet.

He said, “There is a dedicated user-friendly website where any person with basic computer skills can easily avail the services from the comfort of their home. The corporation also has around 120 “Pouro Sakhis” across the 60 wards to collect the taxes from people’s doorsteps, even then many residents are not willing to pay the tax thinking they will be exempted from necessary actions.”

Last year, GMC announced an exemption for tax defaulters from penalty if they at least pay 50% of the unpaid tax.

Dahal said property tax collection is one of the top priorities of the GMC as the cost of most of the developmental and other official works of the corporation comes from the property tax collected. He said, “The grants that GMC received from the Centre are dependent on tax collection. If GMC fails to increase the tax collection every year, the amounts received through the grants will be affected. That will directly impact the development of the city.”

  • Published On Feb 19, 2024 at 01:00 PM IST

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