Government offices who have failed to pay property tax will face the music as the SAS Nagar municipal corporation (MC) on Thursday issued a final warning notice to seal buildings of the Punjab School Education Board, Vikas Bhawan which houses Punjab rural development and panchayat department and the Punjab Mandi Board in case they don’t pay the outstanding property tax.
MC officials say in case the outstanding amount is not paid within 30 days, the civic body would seal buildings of these offices.
The Punjab School Education Board in Phase 8 has to pay Rs 2.25 crore as property tax while the Mandi Board in Phase 11 and Vikas Bhawan in Phase 8 have to pay Rs 1 crore each. The tax was imposed in 2013.
Sources in MC said the government offices were the major defaulters and for past many months, the MC had been sending notices asking them to pay the outstanding dues, but they are taking the matter lightly.
According to MC records, around 7,000 property owners have paid the tax amounting to Rs 5 crore this year.
There are more that 33,000 property owners in SAS Nagar of which more than 23,000 are yet to pay the tax, reveal civic body records.
Police owe 1 crore
The police department is yet to pay Rs 1 crore as property tax for past three years for various police stations within the MC limits. Punjab Police occupies at least 10 buildings, including the Punjab state NRI police wing at Phase 7, Punjab state cyber crime police station, Phase 4, the EO wing at Phase 6, vigilance bureau police station at Sector 68, police lines and four other police stations. Some three months back, the MC had sent reminder to the police department giving details of the outstanding amount, but to no avail. MC sources say if the department fails to pay the tax, police stations and offices will be sealed.
MC yet to form panel
MC councillors have been demanding rollback of property tax in SAS Nagar and the issue has been hotly debated in the Hose meetings. The issue had also remained the centre point during the MC elections the MC elections. However, even after two general House meetings, the MC has failed to constitute committee to review the property tax. The tax has been imposed by the Punjab government through a legislation.