Fed up with reluctant attitude of property tax defaulters, the Patiala municipal corporation (PMC) has started sealing commercial buildings and on Day one, the civic body has sealed two single screen cinema houses.
A civic body team led by superintendent Ravdeep Singh went to seal other theatres as well, but the owners of those theatres managed to persuade them that they would file their taxes by Wednesday evening.
Despite repeated notices, the owners of Malwa and Phul cinemas failed to pay their taxes to the tune of Rs 15 lakh for the last financial year 2014-15, said the superintendent.
Ravdeep Singh said besides last year’s property tax, even the owners of these cinemas had not paid required property tax for 2013-2014.
“Both the cinema houses had paid around Rs 40,000 two years ago, which was too little. The teams are even calculating exact figures as these cinemas have submitted wrong assessment details,” he said.
Moreover, the civic body has earlier sent sealing notices to around 600 commercial establishments, which have failed to pay the tax since its implementation three years back.
“The sealing is a clear message to the people that the tax defaulters will not be spared at any cost,” said joint commissioner Nazar Singh, adding that the sealing process will go on for some more days.
“Every effort will be made to collect the property tax not only from various government departments, but also from all residential and commercial units,” he added.
Notably, the property tax collection is the main income source for the MC, which is expecting to collect around Rs 20 crore in 2015-2016.
Pertinently, Rs 9.5 crore realised from the property tax last financial year got exhausted in paying salaries to employees and pensions for February and March instead of being used for development purposes.
Govt depts on MC’s radar
With financial crisis deepening even further, MC officials are leaving no stone unturned to generate money from taxes. The corporation has not only issued notices to government departments, but has informed their higher ups in Chandigarh in writing about sealing of their premises in case of nonpayment of taxes.
As per a tentative figure, the civic body could generate more than Rs 2 crore from various government departments. “Many government offices have apprised the MC that they have been waiting for the budget allocation to pay their taxes,” said Ravdeep Singh.