Property tax survey in limbo for past six months

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2015 20:52 IST

Even though the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) has started collecting property tax on new rates in February, the survey intended to prepare the database of tax units is stuck in a limbo since the last six months.

Presently, the municipal corporation is making do with the database of commercial units only and has no record of the number of residential establishments to be covered under property tax.

As far as residential units are concerned the MC used to levy house tax on them but it has been abolished as of 2012. Since then property tax collection from residential units has been at the mercy of tax payers as the MC has no database on the number of residential units.

The civic body has not found any company to carry out the survey which involves collection of details of commercial and residential properties in order to generate the units that would come under the tax net.
The municipal corporation found serious anomalies in the survey conducted by a private company Intzanta in October last year for which it paid Rs 2 lakh.

The delay in the conducting survey also postponed the plans of the civic body to issue unique identification numbers (UIN) to each taxpayer unit so that it could file its property tax return online.
Pertinently, the two of the private firms from Mumbai, gave presentations to civic body officials and proposed to conduct survey of MC jurisdiction through geographic information system (GIS) mapping software.

However, the corporation wanted to conduct door-to-door survey in order to get better results, besides helping it to collect details regarding number of water and sanitation connections and other details from each unit.

Joint commissioner Nazar Singh said the tenders have already been called for the purpose. "The tenders will be allotted to interested company next week and the survey would be completed at the earliest," he said.

Flaws in earlier survey

The company that had been allotted the tender to complete the survey earlier left the work in-between leaving the implementation of online payment of returns high and dry.

The company management claimed to have completed 90% of the survey, but gross negligence came to the fore when the corporation sent its teams to verify the data collected by the company.

Out of the 25 blocks under their jurisdiction, the company submitted records for six blocks only.
It may be recalled that, during the cross verification of data from the six blocks, MC teams found that the company had failed to cover each and every residential and commercial unit.

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