Margao residents protest against hike in house tax

April 6, 2023

MARGAO: Residents of Margao on Wednesday marched to the local municipality on Wednesday protesting the hike proposed in house tax and garbage collection fees.

The police stopped the protestors from entering the building, but following loud protestation, a delegation of 10 persons was allowed to meet chairperson Damodar Shirodkar in his chamber.

The delegation, which included Savio Coutinho, Snehal Onskar, Carlos Gracias, Pio Barreto, Maria do Carmo, Sayed Iftiyaz, Damodar Onskar, and others, demanded that the proposed hike in taxes be withheld till all the unassessed premises are brought under the tax net.

The delegation was of the view that Margao’s municipality’s taxation system was “unjustified and discriminatory” as it targeted only the legally assessed premises, while those not assessed by the municipality availed the services at the taxpayers’ cost. “We have been consistently raising our voice against the taxation system,” they said.

Jose Maria Miranda stated that several thousands of unassessed premises exist in Margao which, he said, were vote banks of politicians, and hence no efforts were being made to assess these premises. “However, on the other hand, shops/houses/flats that are locked and not creating any waste are slapped with garbage collection fees,” he said.

The delegation argued that if all the unassessed premises are tapped for revenue, the municipality will be flush with funds and no hike in taxes will be necessary.

“Our demand will cause no loss to the council, but on the contrary fetch several crores of rupees every year from the untapped sources of revenue,” Coutinho said. “We urged the chairperson to act in the interest of not only the loyal taxpayers, but also to act in the interest of the council by further boosting its revenue collection.”

  • Published On Apr 6, 2023 at 04:00 PM IST

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