A special Delhi government task force would help the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) identify tax defaulting properties to maximise the civic agency’s revenue.
The three-member tax force would use the city’s geo-spatial data to identify properties that fall in the tax net and compare it with the MCD’s list of tax payers. The MCD has also been asked to rope in residents welfare associations and market bodies to help identify defaulters to help maximise the corporation’s tax collections.
Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said the three-member task force has already begun using the GIS survey to prepare Delhi’s complete real estate list. “Of more than 25 lakh properties, less than 10 lakh pay their tax. The MCD’s tax collection is just about thousand-odd crore, which should ideally be Rs. 2,500 crore. Instead of increasing property tax rate, the MCD should try and collect tax from more properties,” he said.
Delhi government officials said the MCD could learn from Mumbai’s municipal corporation that send notice to apartment complex heads to collect tax. In Mumbai, the complex secretaries collect tax from property owners and submit with the corporation.
“Similar model can be applied in Delhi. The RWAs and market associations can be given the responsibility to collect tax from house owners. If there is more than one RWA functioning in a colony, they can be asked to take responsibility of a block or a set of houses. The MCD can concentrate on collecting tax from colonies when no RWA come forward to take responsibility,” Mehta said.
The government has been trying to find a solution to the MCD’s poor tax collection record and its increasing dependence on government for funds. Cash-strapped, the former gives out Rs. 2,500 crore to MCD every year.