With October 31 the last date for residents to avail of 10% off on property tax payment for this financial year and the municipal corporation running short of its estimated collection with only Rs 9 crore being collected so far, the civic body seems to have gone into an overdrive to ensure its collection is maximised.
Consider this: Over 30,000 mobile text messages have been sent by the MC to registered mobile numbers of taxpayers over the last two days asking for people to ‘avail of the opportunity’ for a rebate.
After November 1, besides losing the opportunity to avail the rebate, the MC could also impose fines on defaulters.
The tax branch of the MC will also stay open on Thursday, Friday and on Saturday, even as these are government holidays. MC commissioner Indu Malhotra has issued directions to officials in this regard.
Rs 23 crore annual target; Rs 9 cr in so far
Till date, the MC has managed to collect Rs 9 crore in property tax till date this fiscal even as mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj has spoken of collecting Rs 23 crore for the entire fiscal at a Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting of the House.
Officials themselves have downgraded the estimate to Rs 13 crore this fiscal. In 2013-14, the MC had collected Rs 12.5 crore from 48,000 properties till this time and around Rs 10 crore in 2014-15 (again till this time).
MC superintendent Ravdeep Singh said, “We have decided to keep open our office on holidays as well. We will start the process of issuing challans and sealing the properties of defaulters from November 1.”
MC has no figures
In spite of the special 10% rebate, MC has received a lukewarm response from residents as at present, local bodies have no record for the number of residential units to be covered under the property tax. The only data available is for commercial properties.
“With the MC lacking data on people who have property tax and how much, people have no fear of action and thus are not bothered about paying their dues,” a senior MC official said.