Chandigarh MC panel recommends 20% hike in property tax
An internal panel of the Chandigarh municipal corporation, chaired by additional commissioner Anil Garg, has proposed nearly 20% hike in property tax rates across the board.
While property tax rates on commercial, industrial and institutional buildings were last revised in 2018, there has been no revision in rates for residential buildings ever since the tax was introduced in this category in 2015. The proposal to hike property tax rates got the nod from the MC house tax assessment committee on Wednesday, following which a detailed agenda is likely to be tabled during the General House meeting on December 30.
Confirming it, Anil Garg, who heads the tax branch, said the committee has allowed the proposal to be tabled in the House meeting for approval. “Accordingly, the agenda is being prepared for the consideration of the House,” he said.
To affect 1.5 lakh
In case, the MC House approves the proposal, it will affect 1.5 lakh property tax assessees.
Of these, 30,000 are commercial, institutional and industrial property owners and the remaining are residential.
The MC’s property tax collection has already touched ₹45 crore this year and is likely to cross the last year’s tax collection of ₹50 crore by March-end.
With the hike in tax, the MC hopes to make an additional collection of ₹10 -15 crore every year.
The panel report, assessed by HT, stated that the tax rate revision is proposed for property tax rates on commercial, institutional and industrial building since there was a specific provision of annual 10% hike in this category when the tax was first introduced in 2003. But it was never implemented, bringing “stagnancy in MC’s internal resources”.
Also, there has been no hike in property tax rates on residential properties, despite the collector rate being revised twice in the past four years.
MC officials said, even after the hike, property tax rates will be much less than that in neighbouring Mohali. A senior official, not wishing to be named, said property tax on houses in Mohali is more than ₹5 per square yard whereas “our rates will not even be half of it despite revision”. There is a need to rationalise the rates to strengthen the MC’s internal finances, he said.
Congress to oppose it
The Congress, meanwhile, said it will oppose the move, as it will put a lot of burden on the people.
Congress leader of opposition Devinder Babla said ever since the BJP came to power in the MC, the city is continuously being burdened with a slew of taxes. “We will not allow any move to hike property tax rates,” he said.
Mayor Rajesh Kalia said it is just a proposal as nothing has been finalised. “The Congress should not politicise the issue as it is because of their wrong policies in 15-year-long tenure that the MC plunged into a financial crisis. The House is supreme. It will take a final call whenever the agenda is placed before councillors,” he said.