The Phagwara municipal corporation has decided to seal properties of property tax and house tax defaulters. The stringent action has been initiated against defaulters, who have ignored several MC warnings.
The MC authorities have been just able to collect 30 per cent property tax for the year 2014-2015.
Though the state government claims to have made the entire process hassle-free by substituting the earlier collector rate system with simple fixed nominal rates for everybody to submit their property taxes, it has failed to find many takers.
After scrutiny, the civic body has identified 22,300 properties. But it has received tax for just 7,200 properties. The amount collected has been `1.50 crore as against `3.5 crore target.
The process of filing the property tax was started in December last year. The government had offered 10 per cent rebate to those submitting their tax before February 28 this year. However, due to poor response, it had to extend the date till March 15. Now, the MC authorities are charging 20 per cent penalty and 18 per cent annual rate of interest from latecomers.
Even after three years of abolishment of house tax, around `4.50 crore, including `2 crore from the PRTC, `7.5 lakh from governmental properties and `1.88 crore from private property owners of city is still to be collected.
The MC had recently decided to start a drive to seal the properties of defaulters. "After a request by some city associations, we gave them time till June 20 to deposit their taxes," Iqbal Singh Sandhu, additional deputy commissioner (ADC)-cum-MC commissioner, Phagwara said.
"We will start the drive soon and won't spare any defaulters," he said.