Chandigarh MC doesn’t know exact number of residential, commercial properties in city | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh MC doesn’t know exact number of residential, commercial properties in city

Joint commissioner makes an admission at the floor of the House; councillors, mayor question intent of officials as big firms aren’t penalised over property tax default.

punjab Updated: Jul 01, 2017 16:24 IST
Hillary Victor 
BJP councillor Satish Kainth makes a point during the monthly House meeting of the Chandigarh MC on Friday. Councillors, mayor questioned officials over going soft on some tax defaulters.
BJP councillor Satish Kainth makes a point during the monthly House meeting of the Chandigarh MC on Friday. Councillors, mayor questioned officials over going soft on some tax defaulters.(Ravi Kumar/HT)

In a shocking admission, Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) admitted they do not have the exact number of residential and commercial properties in city.

During the monthly House meeting, joint commissioner of MC, Manoj Khatri said, “At present we do not have the details of exact number of residential and commercial properties in city. The owners are paying under self assessment scheme and notices are issued to them who have paid once and then default for the second time.” 

“Last year we collected Rs 22 crore from the property tax, while this year we have a target of Rs 24 crore and have already collected around Rs 21 crore. We will soon have geographic information system (GIS) survey for the properties, but it will take some time.” 

The councillors lashed out at the joint commissioner and the chief accounts officer, Uma Shankar, questioning them on not issuing notices to the big firms and alleged they are only after some of the owners. Mayor Asha Kumari Jaswal too blamed officers over this allegation.

House tax introduced three years back 

Three years after the municipal corporation (MC) introduced house tax in Chandigarh, it has not yet conducted a survey on the exact number of residential properties in the city and has barely managed to collect 36% of the target amount. 

The civic body has not issued notices to defaulters to recover the amount. As per an estimate, there are around 80,000 houses for which the MC was to collect Rs 10 crore in the year 2016-17 ( till December 31, 2016) as house tax, but collected Rs 3.64 crore. 

Major defaulters
  • JW Marriot Hotel, Sector 35 - Rs 30 lakh 
  • Paramount Coaching Institute, Sector 34 - Rs 7 lakh 
  • BR Forex Enterprises Private Limited, Sector 34 - Rs 3 lakh 
  • Mukat Hospital, Sector 34 - Rs 4.3 lakh 
  • Jet King, Sector 34 - Rs 3.8 lakh

An estimate pegs around 80,000 houses in UT and only around 25,000 owners pay the tax. MC was to collect Rs 10 crore in year 2016-17, but have only collected around Rs 4 crore. 

In 2013, the MC had imposed house tax at Rs 1 per square yard for houses covering an area of 125 square yards and more. In 2014, the administration proposed to increase the tax to Rs 20 per square yard. However, the MC House did not agree to it and house tax collection couldn’t be carried out in 2014 and 2015.

In July 2015, it was again imposed and houses with an area less than 500 square feet were exempted from the tax Low-income group (LIG), economically weaker sections (EWS) flats were exempted from house tax . 

In its notification issued on July 27, 2015, the administration imposed house tax with a hike of 16%. The owners of 5 marla houses have to pay tax ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500, depending on the zone and built-up area. The owners of 10-marla house have to shell out between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000. 

MC collecting property tax on basis of 2007 survey 

MC is collecting tax from the buildings under the survey conducted by Punjab Engineering College in 2007. For the past ten years no fresh survey is conducted and in the same period many new commercial establishments have come up. As per 2007 survey, there are only 23,000 commercial buildings in the city, but on the other hand an officer in tax branch says the number has gone up to 25,000 in the past decade. 

The civic body levied property tax on commercial lands and buildings with effect from November 22, 2004. As per provisions of MC bylaws 2003, the assesses are required to deposit the tax under self-assessment scheme for every assessment year starting on April 1, with 10% rebate up to March 31.

Property tax on commercial buildings ranges between Rs 3 and Rs 20 per square feet, depending upon the zones. There are four zones in the city. The 10% rebate the MC is offering is also available to those who deposit the tax for 2017-18 before the due date of May 31, 2018.