The Haryana government's decision to levy property taxes has met with the ire of residents, with many calling it a “scheme to extort double tax” from them. A citizen’s group even moved the Supreme Court.
The government on June 1 had announced a token Rs. 1 property tax per square yard on residential properties of 250 square yards or less and apartments of up to 500 square feet.
However, it also announced that a levy on constructed houses on more than 250 square yards and flats of more than 500 square feet will be imposed by charging the house tax at the collector rate multiplied by 0.00075 per square yard/feet.
This has not gone down well with those residing in private builders' areas and Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) areas.
They say they already pay maintenance charges to their concerned builders and the levying of property taxes is "unfair".
“This is great injustice to people like us who have been crying foul for property tax on old collector rate. I bought this plot about 15 years ago when the collector rate was hardly R4,000-R5,000 per square yard and now it is Rs. 45,000-Rs. 50,000 per square yard," said Ramesh Vasisth, a resident of Sector 15-I.
In private builders' areas, people termed the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon's (MCG) property tax notice as “double taxation” and moved the Supreme Court.
“We are already paying maintenance to developers. They have not handed over the colonies to MCG. Then, how can MCG collect property tax from us? We have filed a petition and our case will be heard shortly," said RS Rathee, president of Gurgaon Citizens' Council (GCC).
In Huda sectors too, people opposed MCG's notice on the ground that the sectors are still under the maintenance of Huda.
“MCG is not extending any civic amenities to their area. Why should MCG send property tax notice to us," asked BS Yadav, a resident of Sector 22.
However, those who reside in residential properties of 250 square yards or less didn't have much to complain.
“There is no harm in accepting this offer from the government. This is exactly what we have been demanding for long…we wrote several letters to the government,” said Dharam Sagar, president of the Federation of Residents' Welfare Associations of Urban Estate (FORWA).
The government had also extended 100% rebate to religious properties, orphanages, municipal buildings, cremation grounds, among others.