Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s new plan to make tax defaulters pay up

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Sep 16, 2015 17:26 IST

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation bosses have adopted a new method to collect property tax dues from defaulters in Kolkata.

In a novel initiative, mayor Sovan Chatterjee has decided to involve all councillors in the KMC’s bid to collect property tax dues worth a whopping Rs 2,200 crore.

In a statement of intent, Chatterjee has promised incentives for councillors who fares the best in terms of realising property tax dues. He promised to put more money into the kitty of the councillors who fares best in this bid to realise dues to help commission more development works in their respective areas.

Sources said the KMC councillors are allotted Rs 12 lakh annually.

“I cannot announce any monetary reward as incentive to the councillors. But I can always give some preferences to those best performing councillors while deciding on the allotment of development funds,” Chatterjee said.

However, a senior MMiC said not all councillors may be willing to get involved in the effort fearing a blowback from the people during elections.

The councillors, said sources, would be asked to make the locals aware of property tax defaulters in their neighbourhood and put them to shame.

By making an amendment to the KMC Act, 1980, the mayor provided for a waiver of interest up to 50% for those willing to clear their property tax dues at one go.

The word in the KMC corridors is that the mayor’s bid to introduce a waiver scheme for defaulters to realise property tax dues didn’t evoke the desired response. Hence, he has now decided to task the councillors with realising the dues.

However, officials of the KMC’s assessment department claimed that the response to the waiver scheme for property scheme defaulters has been encouraging, with applications piling up for clearing tax dues every day.

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