PUNE: The civic body has identified and decided to auction 50 commercial properties of tax defaulters in the first phase in January.
Before auction, the civic body explores different options to recover property tax like issuance of notices, attaching the property and sealing it for a temporary period. If the payment is not made despite the said action, PMC takes the property into its possession and fixes its name on the 7/12 abstracts.
PMC data said it had sealed over 200 properties in 2023 and these would be auctioned in phases. The administration was expected to earn around Rs245 crore from the sale. Overall property taxes due were Rs8,000 crore. In a year, PMC’s property tax department earned approximately Rs1,800 crore to Rs2,000 crore.
Head of PMC’s property tax department Ajit Deshmukh said, “Properties to be auctioned are commercial. The administration repeatedly followed up for payment of tax. However, the dues were not cleared leading to the decision to auction it.”
Activists have welcomed the move and want the administration to act against bigger tax defaulters too.
Civic officials said valuation of properties to be auctioned was underway. The primary estimate said that around Rs60 crore would be collected in the first phase. PMC was carrying out the auction as per the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, which gave power to local self-governing bodies to conduct such auctions for recovery of taxes. The defaults ranged from four years to 10 years.
Around 12 lakh properties were liable for tax payment under PMC’s jurisdiction. It also included tax on mobiles towers and big defaulters — including industries, commercial complexes, IT parks and hospitals.
Property tax included basic house/building tax plus service taxes such as street tax and conservancy/scavenging tax, and was collected either half-yearly or annually. Citizens who paid the property tax before May 31 got a discount of 10%.
PMC officials said they were taking a number of steps, like playing music bands before the properties whose owners had defaulted. Even an amnesty scheme was introduced for tax recovery.
Vivek Velankar of citizens group Sajag Nagrik Manch said, “The administration should make sure big tax defaulters are taken to task. The frequent introduction of an amnesty scheme for defaulters is not a good sign. It is sending out a wrong message, especially to diligent tax payers.”
Published On Dec 27, 2023 at 05:30 PM IST
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