Despite assurance of political parties that there will be no property tax in the villages, SAS Nagar municipal corporation targets to earn additional revenue of Rs 2 crore.
The municipal corporation plans to go ahead with the imposition of the property tax in six villages and new sectors even as the voices opposing the same grow stronger.
The state government gave the shocker to the villagers soon after the election in Punjab got over. The government had rejected the MC resolution seeking exemption of property tax in villages and asked the civic body to collect tax from six villages under the MC limit from April 1.
Last year, the MC had sent a proposal to the local bodies department to exempt six villages — SAS Nagar, Shahimajra, Madanpura, Kumbra, Mataur and Sohana — from paying property tax.
More than 1,400 commercial and residential establishments have been asked to pay property tax.
“Tax per year from residential properties of six villages is Rs 28 lakh, from commercial properties is Rs 12 lakh while the tax from new sectors residential Rs 90 lakh and commercial properties is Rs 50 lakhs,” said Rajesh Dhiman, commissioner, MC SAS Nagar.
The civic body has collected Rs 12.33 crore as property tax from April till December 2016.
The rate of tax for commercial property in sectors is Rs 6 per square feet for the ground floor and Rs 3 per square feet for the other floors while for the village these rates are Rs 3 and Rs 1.5 per square feet.
Panchayat union chief Balwinder Singh Kumbra said, “Just to get votes be it MC election or assembly election all political parties had assured no property tax will be imposed in villages.
But as soon as the voting is over the villagers are being burdened by the tax thus cheating the voters.” Kumbra said in case the decision is not rolled back they would gherao the MC bhawan.
Congress MLA of SAS Nagar, Balbir Singh Sidhu, said, “We will not let the MC impose tax on the villages. We had promised the residents that no additional burden would be imposed on them and will stick to the same. No fee for building plans (naksha Fee) as well as property tax will be imposed”.
SAD councillor Parminder Singh Sohana, who represents Kumbra and Sohana villages in the MC House, said, “When no facilities are being provided how can they charge property tax. There are no bylaws for villages and we will take up the issue with the government.”