Spy on thy neighbour. That’s what the Municipal Corporation of Delhi appears to be propagating with their incentives scheme. If one of your neighbours has been avoiding paying property tax, snitching on him or her would fetch you rewards from the civic body.
The MCD, losing crores owing to evasion, has proposed this in budget for 2009-10. It is however, yet to ascertain the quantum of the reward.
“It will be a suitable amount based on the tax the information helps us recover. If cleared, the measure will be enforced by next year. A door-to-door survey to ascertain the exact number of property tax payers in the city has also been suggested,” MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra told Hindustan Times.
The civic agency promises to protect the identities of those who report evaders.
Of the about 25 lakh property owners in the city, the civic body is able to collect taxes from just 8.5 lakh. For the financial year 2007-08, the MCD collected Rs 1,000 crore as property tax.
It is hoping to garner Rs 1,400 crore in 2008-09.
In the budget proposals, the target for 2009-2010 has been set at Rs 1,600 crore.
Resident welfare bodies have warmed up to the idea. “There are a large number of people who use services provided by agencies but don’t pay for them. Implemented in the right spirit, the scheme can work wonders,” said 49-year-old advertising executive Rajiv Kakaria, member of the Greater Kailash-I residents welfare association.