All property owners, who fall under the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) and have received house tax assessment notices, have decided not to pay property tax. Their reason: They want the Haryana Government to announce elections for a proper municipal body with a mayor and municipal councillors in place.
Various resident welfare bodies, traders’ and industrial associations, along with residents from villages, met on Saturday to oppose the house tax assessment notices. At the meeting, organised by the Joint Action Forum of RWAs (Jafra) in Gurgaon, it was decided that there would be full-scale protests held — public rallies, road blockages and hunger strikes — if these notices were not withdrawn.
Jafra Chairman Col. (Retd.) Ratan Singh said that the MCG, which does not have an elected body of people’s representatives and has not held even one election since its formation in 2008, has “slapped house tax on lakhs of house owners”. He said: “According to the provisions of Haryana Municipal Act 1994, house owners have a right to file objection with the MCG committee, comprising of its commissioner and two elected representatives of the community. But the latter do not exist as there were no municipal elections.”
According to him, the MCG has no right to ask for house tax, until it has a body of elected municipal councillors in place. Singh said that a delegation from Jafra would soon meet Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and request him to withdraw the tax notices. “If the CM refuses to meet our demand, we would be left with no other option but to take to streets and start agitation,” he said.
Madan Yadav, president of DLF Qutub Enclave RWA, said the DLF City residents were already paying maintenance charges to DLF for the house maintenance and the demand for house tax by the MCG was unjustified, as it would an added burden on the residents.
Panchayat representatives, of the 42 villages that were merged with the MCG in 2008, also participated. They said the MCG had already transferred Rs. 350 crore from the panchayats’ accounts, thus there was no question of villagers paying house tax to MCG.
The MCG officials, however, clarified that the house tax had nothing to do with the maintenance of the townships or municipal elections. Therefore, the people should pay house tax as many have already done.